RUSTON, La. -- Louisiana Tech head coach Tyler Summitt is now in the process of building another new home in Ruston, Louisiana.

"Brick by brick, we are slowly making progress," Summitt said just two weeks into his teams first preseason workouts. "Coach [Mickie] DeMoss keeps reminding me that it is a process to change the culture. I'm very thankful how hard the staff is working and how most of the players are working to buy in to the system.

"We basically have 10 freshmen. There is a lot of teaching going on every day. We are trying to balance teaching with executing and keeping things simple. We have not been complex; we have tried to keep it as simple as possible while continuing to make progress."

Tech -- which returns four starters and seven letter winners off of last year's team -- was tabbed seventh in the preseason Conference USA coaches poll, one year after finishing 14th in the standings. Summitt said that in order for his team to reach its potential this season, he needs the leadership and experience of his returners to pave the way.

"Whitney [Frazier], Kelia [Shelton] and Chrisstasia [Walter] have been the most consistent in practice so far," Summitt said. "We have others who are buying in but those three have been the most consistent in putting in the effort of the new system. Our seniors need to all be leaders for us."

After conducting a three-hour workout without the use of basketballs on the first day of practice last week, Summitt has slowly introduced more and more of the round ball into the sessions. However, he continues to focus on defense and fundamentals.

"We have tried to teach our system in simple way," Summitt said. "We have taught our man-to-man defense. We have taught two of our man offenses. We have taught transition defense and offense. This week we will be getting into more of the details. Our goal is to have everything taught and then use the last week leading up to our season opener as mainly review." 

The Lady Techsters will play a pair of exhibition games starting with a Nov. 1 matchup against Mississippi College and Nov. 8 against LSU-Alexandria. The regular season opener is Nov. 15 at Stephen F. Austin.