On the nineteenth day of practice, Katin Reinhardt finally came back from a groin injury to give Andy Enfield all his weapons again. That allowed the head coach to operate his system more freely and he was excited with the results it produced.
What the team is working on: "We had a great day today. The players played extremely hard, they played zone defense, man defense and we were executing on offense. I was very impressed."
The zone defense: "We're going to play some zone, we have some bigger guys on the team. We need a secondary defense, man will be our primary defense, but we have to play some zone to protect some guys if they have foul trouble. Also sometimes zone is better than man defense depending on who you play."
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Having the team completely healthy: "It's great to have all of your players on the court. Players win games and if you don't have certain guys, it hurts your chances. We had a bad week last week with injuries. We had five guys out for numerous practices and it effected our execution and we also couldn't put a lot of new ideas or concepts in with so many guys out."
If improved health means more concepts: "We're putting in new things everyday. New offensive plays, today we worked on some new wrinkles in our zone. It's a daily process, with all the guys on the team we can move forward quickly but when you have injuries it slows it down."
Katin Reinhardt's first day back: "Katin played exceptionally well today. He was very active and more impressive on the defensive end."
Standouts at practice: "I wouldn't say MVP, we had a very competitive scrimmage, we went up and down the court and worked on our offensive execution. Whenever you have a competitive scrimmage, it usually means both teams are playing hard and if one team blows another team out it's usually a lack of effort. I've been very proud of our players because it seems like every scrimmage we've had the last week and a half has been extremely competitive."
Takeaway from Tuesday practice: "You're constantly evaluating individuals but you also look at what works and what doesn't work. If you have to tweak your system or maybe try something and if it doesn't work, put it on the back burner for the time being or maybe get rid of it totally. We're constantly looking at what works for our personnel and that's part of our new staff with eight new players and some returnees that we don't coach last year. We're trying to figure out what is best for our personnel.
Plan for Wednesday: "Tomorrow they need to work on their academics, so we're going to have team study hall and hopefully they'll bring their books."
What he expects from the freshmen: "We need some of the freshmen to step up. They have to be relied upon to play minutes for us and be in the rotation so they have to be ready. I'm very impressed with their work ethic. I think there's more inconsistency among our freshman than with the upperclass just because the preseason is exceptionally long this year, they aren't used to this. It's a daily grind. I'm impressed with their effort but we need a little more consistency from them before we start."
What the long preseason means: "I think it's good for us because we have eight new players, new coaching staff, new offense and defensive systems. I think it benefits us this year. If we had a veteran team, I'd say it's probably not as necessary, so we're taking advantage of it."
If the team has a rhythm: "I think so. We looked a lot better on Saturday in our intra-squad scrimmage. I'm very impressed with their intensity on defense and their togetherness on offense. It was a lot better than the week before and our opening night is only a couple of weeks away. We have to figure this out quickly."
What they need to accomplish before the start of the season: "The biggest thing is being able to play together within our systems. We have to communicate, defensively especially. As you're putting in the zone and man principles, we have to communicate quickly what we're trying to do and that comes from leadership. But also, it doesn't matter if you're a freshman or sophomore and you have juniors and seniors on the court, you sometimes have to take over the leadership and some of our guys need to work on that."
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