ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The UAlbany women’s basketball team held their first practice of the 2023-2024 season today. While the regular season doesn’t tip off until November, it hasn’t stopped the Great Danes from trying to get a jump on the competition.

There’s a mix of old and new faces on the team as the Great Danes who made an America East championship game appearance last season but lost to Vermont.

Fast forward to today, and the Danes have acquired three new players from the transfer portal and returned three players from last season. The Great Danes will have some youth this season, but head coach Colleen Mullen believes that with solid veteran leadership, this year’s team will uphold the winning tradition thats been set forth.

“With a small group of returners, but that just understands our coaching staff level of expectation and what we expect in terms of intensity and communication in practice,” Mullen said. “They’re all just working so hard, they’re great teammates. We’ve got some really nice additions. Some terrific talented freshmen, and some really good transfers, so we’re really excited to see some fresh faces out there. The players that have returned all they know is winning here, so when you have a winning mindset, and you have players that are winners, and all they know how to do is win, you’re not rebuilding because you don’t have to teach them you don’t have to get over that hump of like how do you play to win instead of playing and being afraid to lose,” Mullen added. “So, I think that mentality, along with the additions of the transfers that have been a part of some successful programs, and these young freshmen, they just have their eyes wide open to follow that lead.”

The Great Danes start the season on Monday, Nov. 6, against Merrimack.