College of Charleston men’s basketball coach Doug Wojcik has been with the team for six months.

He’s had dozens of workouts with his players and took them on a weeklong exhibition series in Canada over the summer.

But Friday afternoon’s season-opening practice at TD Arena was the first time things mattered, Wojcik said.

“We’ve had opportunities to work together and to get to know each other, but it’s here now and it’s finally real,” Wojcik said. “I think that’s the exciting part, from here on out, it matters. We’re all working toward one goal. This is about us as a team.”

Wojcik, who took over for Bobby Cremins back in April, has placed a special emphasis on defense and rebounding during the team’s workouts.

“This is a new era and I think we’re moving in a really good direction,” said Cougars senior guard Andrew Lawrence. “Coach Wojcik has preached about defense and rebounding and that’s something we can definitely improve on from last year. I’m really excited about the changes that we’ve made. Coach Wojcik is all about the details of the game.”

Junior forward Wiedeman said the Wojcik and Cremins definitely have different coaching styles.

“They’re different people and different coaching styles, not saying one is better than the other,” Wiedeman said. “Coach Wojcik has made the transition pretty easy. He got my respect from the first time I met him.”

With a veteran club, including Lawrence and Wiedeman, expectations are high this season. The Cougars are expected to battle Davidson, which has all of its returning starters, for the Southern Conference title.