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Bucks open their NBA season tonight with seven new players

The Milwaukee Bucks open their NBA season tonight with seven new players, and a rookie starting at point guard.

Brandon Jennings, 20, only made 33 percent of his shots in the pre-season.

But he displayed strong passing and ball-handling skills, and a solid vision of the court.

Bucks' assistant coach Kelvin Sampson says Jennings is a better player now than when he started training camp a month ago.

He didn't have the SAT score to play college basketball at Arizona, where he had committed.

So instead of going to a junior college, Jennings turned pro and played a year in Italy.

And even though he averaged 5.5 points off the bench, Jennings showed enough potential to be the 10th overall pick in this year's NBA Draft.

Sampson says the big question is whether Jennings is mentally ready to handle the rigors and the ups and downs of an 82-game regular season.

Sampson says the Bucks are trying to prepare Jennings for both, because that's what he'll experience and he has not had much adversity.

As for personal goals, Jennings says he doesn't have many except to make the playoffs.

It's been four seasons since Milwaukee has done that. The Bucks open their schedule tonight at Philadelphia.

Their home opener is Saturday night against Detroit.