WildcatAuthority.com: Who would you say made the biggest gain from the end of last season to now?
Chris Rounds: I would say from an increased weight standpoint Jesse Perry and Kevin Parrom. They both played at around 200 to 204 last year, which is really light for what they were asked to do. Jesse is right around 220 and Kevin is about 215. They are up and down from there, but they have really put on quite a bit and done a good job.
Kyryl and Solomon are still working on some weight issues, but they have done a good job at tweaking their diets to where they have dropped some body fat as well. You kind of work on different things with different guys.
WildcatAuthority.com: When you watched Perry at the end of last season, was it noticeable to you that he needed to get stronger?
Chris Rounds: It is in some situations and in some other ones he is able to go fine. When you get into the NCAA tournament and some of these teams from the east are bigger and stronger, and you really have to be able to match up and compete with them, I would say that Jesse was really undersized. In fairness to him, if we would have had him for four years, he would be a much different looking player right now.
WildcatAuthority.com: What goes into putting on so much weight?
Chris Rounds: They just have to buy into nutrition. A lot of these guys have different backgrounds in how they have come through eating food and a lot of them do not want to eat as much as they have to, so you really have to educate them that taking care of their bodies and eating enough is a job, it is not something you do because you want to. You almost have to have some negative feedback and they may have to play poorly for a while because they are too light before they actually bite the bullet.
WildcatAuthority.com: How about Solomon Hill?
Chris Rounds: He kind of coasts if he can for a little bit and then he kicks it in. He has a really high capacity to change his body quickly, so I think he relies on that a little bit too much, saying I can get away with some stuff here and there. He is working really hard and is going to be exactly where he was when he started. I almost don't begrudge him a little bit of freedom, but it is time for him to step up and not put himself out too far, which he will do.
WildcatAuthority.com: What is he right now and what do you want him at when the season starts?
Chris Rounds: He is probably about 228-230 right now. That is a little lighter than what he played last year. Towards the end he was probably 235. I would say he we can get him to 225 and keep him there, it will be a really good place for Solomon.
WildcatAuthority.com: How about Jordin Mayes?
Chris Rounds: He actually has put on quite a bit of muscle even for being injured. It has been a little bit difficult with one leg kind of being out of commission for a while, but he is up to about 191 whereas he played at 174 for most of last year. He has done a really good job. He is working as hard as he can as well, which was not the case. He really had to learn how to work hard. I couldn't be more proud of anybody more than I am of Jordin.
WildcatAuthority.com: Does the injury put him behind a little bit?
Chris Rounds: I would say from a basketball perspective it probably does. He has missed out on an entire summer of court work where he could have been out with his teammates putting up shots and doing those things. He is a very skilled player though, so once he gets a few weeks of practice under his belt, he will be just fine.
WildcatAuthority.com: A lot has been made about Kyle Fogg's work over the summer.
Chris Rounds: Kyle is another guy that couldn't work harder than he has. He is always on the court and in here he basically lifts until he almost passes out. He has taken the work ethic that we have tried to instill and done a fantastic job. Kyle and a couple of the other guys have set up extra stuff. We go Monday through Thursday, but a lot of the guys have been lifting on Fridays as well.
WildcatAuthority.com: What has the summer schedule been like?
Chris Rounds: For me, it has been pretty easy. I have Kyryl in here for three hours every morning. He comes in at nine and leaves at about 12. The rest of the guys started at 2:30 and 3:30. We keep them in small groups of four or five guys at a time.
WildcatAuthority.com: Kyryl went home and came back overweight, correct?
Chris Rounds: He went home and came back over 300 pounds, which is way too much for him. He is in here for three hours every morning, comes back in the afternoon and does another 30 minutes of conditioning. He is down to about 280 and has dropped at least ten percent of his body fat. I would say he is right where he needs to be at this point to be at ten percent or below at the start.
WildcatAuthority.com: Is that unavoidable?
Chris Rounds: It is and it isn't. I have only had two guys in my career leave and come back better. Last year, Momo and Derrick Williams did a good job with their bodies when they were at home, other than that it has always been miserable. I would say it is pretty hard for them to do things the right way, but you have to deal with what you have.
WildcatAuthority.com: How is Alex Jacobson doing?
Chris Rounds: Alex has done a good job. He had a little bit of a hernia issue that required surgery, so he was out for a little bit of time. When he came back, he has really dedicated himself to be as strong and fit as possible. We are taking a lot of care with his back. We want to make sure he has the best last year he can and he is healthy the whole time.
WildcatAuthority.com: How has Brendon Lavender done in the offseason?
Chris Rounds: He is a lot like Nic Johnson's situation. His weight was 222 at the end of spring and put on fat and some muscle. He is getting strong and his weight right now is between 212-215. He has done a really good job of focusing on eating the right foods. He can be from 212-215 any given day, so he is continuing to get stronger and where he needs to be.
WildcatAuthority.com: What's the focus with these workouts?
Chris Rounds: We are working on upper one day, lower the next, then upper and then lower again. Lower body for every player is by far more important than upper. The game is played through your hips, so with that being said, you really are trying to improve your body as a system. I wouldn't say one thing is more of a focus than another. Our guys are balanced and our training is balanced.