We had a chance to speak with Western Kentucky coach Ken McDonald this afternoon during one of his youth basketball camps at E.A. Diddle Arena.
A few comments from McDonald on how his heavy group of newcomers are adjusting to college life.
“It’s been terrific, and I’m very encouraged. The staff’s excited and the player’s haven’t missed a beat since we started. A lot of the little detail work we’re doing will start to build into their heads – and things like being accountable and being on time, taking care of classwork and getting ahead in the weight room are things that at a college level, these (new guys) aren’t used to.
“We’re asking our returning guys to show some more leadership and take some of them under their wing. That’s been the phrase. But it’s been a great two weeks.”
On whether going through the growing pains of being away from home and in school is lessened due to the fact that WKU has so many new faces going through the situation together:
“There’s always homesickness that you have to deal with and a lot of things that you have adjust to. Time management is big, not being the big fish in the pond and getting to know this level in all different areas – from the weight room to the basketball court to college and academic life in general. There’s a lot that gets thrown at them, but the guys are doing well.”
How important is this summer overall for the program:
“There’s still going to be a major adjustment in the fall because that’s when the competition really gets tough – and that’s when guys understand what competing will get them, and what not competing will get them. The summer, though, is a great chance to break the ice and start the relationship process.
“If we do a good job of that in the summer, then it carries into the fall and they understand better the team concept and it’ll take all of us coming together to achieve our goals as a program.”