Archive for Thursday, October 22, 1998

S BASKETBALL PRACTICES ARE NOT EASY, THAT IS FOR SURE.

October 22, 1998

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Players sometimes run until they drop at the conclusion of Kansas University's rugged men's basketball practices.

Trash cans are never far away for Jayhawks who just might fall ill during post-practice sprints.

"We have not had a scene like that this year. I am predicting we will," KU senior point guard Ryan Robertson said. "Coach has not gotten his teeth far enough into it yet. It's coming. It's coming. It will happen soon. I'll keep you posted."

Freshmen sometimes have trouble surviving coach Roy Williams' early-season practices. Needless to say, workouts are much tougher than high school practices.

"As a freshman, you don't know how far your body can go. That has not yet happened to me," Robertson said of becoming ill at a practice. "I am one of the few and the proud."

Last year, KU's first practice was a rigorous one. Hard-working yet winded Jayhawk freshman Eric Chenowith was mobbed by his teammates who supported the 7-footer after he completed a set of sprints to conclude practice.

"I think it's a surprise for any freshman," Chenowith said of college practices. "Coming out of high school, it was a surprise for me. I came out of a great high school system (in Villa Park, Calif.) and still it was a change.

"The thing that most surprised me is the intensity level. I worked hard in high school but the intensity level is pretty hard to adapt to."

He's made the adjustment, looking good at early-season workouts.

"Practice is difficult," Chenowith said. "I wouldn't say it's easier (as sophomore) in any way. It's not as hard because I understand the drills and know how to do the drills better. The strength I gained in my legs has helped to get through the endurance drills."

three-hour marathon.

KU coach Williams explained the difference.

"Last year it was not my plan to kill anybody. It's just they missed the lines," Williams said.

Players are required to step on the end line during timed, full-court sprints.

"When we say, `Touch the lines,' we mean, `Touch the lines.' Then all of a sudden, what happens is you fail to make your time. I will not give in if they do not make their times. There are no shortcuts."

The Jayhawks currently are working on fundamentals at practice.

"We spend the first two and a half weeks doing nothing but our basic halfcourt man-to-man defense, our running game and free lance offense," Williams said. "That's all we'll work on the first two and a half weeks."

"The first two weeks of practice set the foundation," Robertson said. "We go back to that throughout the year. As the year goes on, we start throwing in wrinkles, special offenses and special plays, trickery. We are trying to set the foundation, the bread and butter defense, the motion offense we rely on, the secondary break we rely on."

Notes

On the air: Roommates Robertson and T.J. Pugh will be hour-long guests on David Lawrence's KLWN radio show at 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday at Don's Steakhouse.

They actually will do interviews of their teammates and players at other schools. The KU duo isn't getting paid because that would be an NCAA violation.

Guest speaker: Williams will speak at a Kansas City Jayhawk Club meeting at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 6 at the Westin Crown Center.

Tickets for the luncheon and short program are $25 each. For information, contact Scott McMichael in the Williams Educational Fund at 864-4937.

Video coming soon: ESPN Regional will be releasing its new video on the 100 years of Kansas Basketball, called "A Century of Tradition." Details will be forthcoming.

-- Gary Bedore's phone message number is 832-7186. His e-mail address is gbedore@ljworld.com.

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