WKU basketball practice report

16 10 2010

The Western Kentucky men’s basketball team ran through its second day of workouts Saturday, here are some snippets from coach Ken McDonald and players following the team’s fourth practice of the season:

Head coach Ken McDonald:

On how hard the team will work over the first 10 days of practice, which will all be two-a-day sessions McDonald is referring to as “boot camp”

“We’re going to be up early and show some commitment to what we have going on and how important this preseason is and our approach to the schedule. We want the guys to be committed and show that sacrifice, and they’ve been great so far. It’s a long road and I think if we set a tone early, we’ll be fine. We’ve had four sessions and Hilltopper Hysteria – it’s been a good two days so far.”

“The maturity factor is always the X-factor. You have to depend on leadership, bring the young guys along and test them. Over time with reps, they start to get it. Because it is hard. It’s always easy to be excited the first couple days, it’s when you get into the middle of it and closer to those first games where the focus needs to maintain.

On developing early chemistry so far:

“We’ve talked a lot about buying into the team concept, and so far guys are getting along great. We have enough young guys that are eager to play a role, and settling into those roles will be important over the next few weeks.

“I love the energy and the eagerness, that’s all you can ask for right now. You want them to come every day and understand that we’ve got work to do. … When they’re not fighting you and they’re listening, you make progress – and it’s been a good start.”

McDonald also said that the timetable to determine how many walk-ons the team will keep is uncertain.

 

Senior forward Steffphon Pettigrew

On how it feels to be back at practice:

“It feels real good, this is day two of boot camp and we’ve been hitting it hard at 6 in the morning. We’re trying to build chemistry, get in shape and get our bodies right.

“The vibe’s been good. We’re energetic, we run a lot and we’ve had energy – we just have to keep it going.”

On building chemistry early

“That’s very important with all these new guys. We have to find that togetherness, but it’s only day two. We’ve got a long way to go and just keep building each and every day.

“We try to help (the new guys) every play. They’re not used to all these drills, so we want to just keep leading by example.

On how tough things have been at practice early

“I’ve never had this many two-a-days, we’re supposed to do 10 straight – our bodies will wear down, but we’ve got to keep going.

“And not just myself, but (seniors Juan Pattillo, Cliff Dixon and Sergio Kerusch), it’s our last year. You don’t want to look back and say ‘oh, I didn’t do this or that.’ You try to take every day and make it important and go hard each and every day.”

 

Freshman guard Brandon Peters

On how his first few days of college basketball have gone

“It’s been pretty fun because it’s a new experience coming from high school into a great program. The coaches are working us hard and teaching us.

“I knew it was going to be hard, though, because it’s college. It’s the next level. I’ve tried to prepare myself for that.”

“We ran a lot in high school, but nowhere as intense as it is now – everybody’s fighting for positions.”

On how the acclimation process is going for the newcomers

“That all started before (in the summer), we try to stay with each other, we eat as a team, we try to do everything together so it all falls into place on the court.

“It’s important to mesh early, because without teamwork there’s no work at all.”

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