Team preview: Hofstra

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 4:57 PM ET
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Hofstra coach Tom Pecora knew that there would be challenges when he took over for Jay Wright (now at Villanova) as the Pride's head coach back in 2001-02.

In addition to replacing the popular Wright, Pecora's squad would be moving from the America East into the much tougher Colonial Athletic Association in his first season -- without seven key seniors from the team (most notably, current NBA player Speedy Claxton) that won 26 games and owned the America East.

As if that one-two punch wasn't difficult enough, Hofstra's was bitten -- make that devoured -- by the injury bug. Last season, Hofstra players missed a combined 78 games with starters Wendell Gibson and Carlos Rivera both suffering season-ending knee injuries within a week of each other.