Team preview: Radford

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

Updated: October 20, 2004, 5:20 PM ET
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While Radford undergoes somewhat of an identity crisis as an athletic program, Highlanders coach Byron Samuels knows just what he wants his basketball team to be.

Radford, courted all summer by the Atlantic Sun Conference, ultimately put that far-flung league off to continue battle in the more geographically favorable Big South, a league of which RU was a charter member. Meanwhile, Samuels needs a winning season after two losing-albeit-feel-good campaigns.

His first team was a surprise finalist in the BSC Tournament at the conclusion of a 10-win year, and last year, the Highs improved to 12 wins but got bounced from the first round of the BSC Tournament for the first time since 1996.