DePaul Busy at Work in Offseason

Hard work pays off. You've heard the saying before plenty of times. For the DePaul Blue Demons, it's a motto that the team is currently applying themselves during the offseason.

Behind the scenes, DePaul's new Director of Strength and Conditioning, Bryce Karasiak, is the man that is contributing in instilling the new mindset. Karasiak arrived from the University of Minnesota, and has been part of the DePaul staff for five months now.

"I love being at DePaul, can't complain," Karasiak said. "The staff, everything is great."

Karasiak's first task at DePaul saw him working out the men's and women's soccer teams, while monitoring the men's basketball team as they progressed through the season. Karasiak was eager to work with the basketball squad as soon as possible.

"Jerry [Wainwright] said to me that once the season is done, they're all mine," said Karasiak.

Once the off-season arrived for the basketball team, Karasiak wasted no time and went right to work with the players to improve their strength and speed specifically.

"I hate to lose," he said. "Whatever I need to do to get the job done to improve the team, I'll do."

And so far, Karasiak has done just that, stating that the off-season workout regimen so far has included squats, bench presses, and other core exercises, as well as agility drills. Karasiak added that "everyone has seen great progress."

"Will Walker, especially, has had a great spring and summer," said Karasiak. "He's pound for pound the strongest guy we have on the team."

Karasiak also had good things to say about Kene Obi and Michael Bizoukas, two players that hope to make an impact on the DePaul roster this upcoming season after redshirting the 2007-08 season.

"Obi is as strong as an ox, he doesn't realize how strong he is. He was 268 pounds to start, now he's at 275-280. His lower body strength is coming along as well. We just want to keep him a little heavy. Bizoukas is up as well. He started at 158 pounds and was struggling with his diet from his mono. Now we have his weight up to 170, and we're looking to get him to 180 soon."

Overall, Karasiak has had nothing negative to say about the team's response to the new workout regimen he has implemented, saying that "they're all taking it really well."

"I think you're going to see a completely different team attitude-wise once the season begins," he said. "We can probably go ten-deep now and I wouldn't be surprised if we finished in the top six in the Big East next year. I don't see why we can't even compete for the Big East title."

And Karasiak knows to reach that goal, it all starts with hard work.

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