Hoosiers Get An Early Wake Up Call

Bloomington, Ind. – Earl Calloway isn't interested in finding out about the consequences of being late to a Kelvin Sampson 5:30 a.m. weight lifting session.

Bloomington, Ind. – Earl Calloway isn't interested in finding out about the consequences of being late to a Kelvin Sampson 5:30 a.m. weight lifting session.

Like the rest of his teammates, the Hoosiers' point guard is wrapping up five weeks of individual workouts under the guidance of IU's new head coach. The five-day-a-week routine includes getting up at 5 a.m. to depart for Assembly Hall for weight lifting, followed by a return trip later in the afternoon for individual work with the IU coaching staff.

And like the rest of his teammates, Calloway makes sure he's showing up on time in the morning.

"Turn off all phones, make sure I have about four or five alarms on, be ready to roll," says Calloway about his evening routine.

Calloway's backcourt teammate, junior A.J. Ratliff, doesn't necessarily need five alarms to make sure he's up in plenty of time in the morning.

"I find myself sleeping and waking up at 3:30 and looking around thinking I overslept," Ratliff says. "You don't want to be late."

According to Ratliff, the consequences for tardiness – even by a minute – are dire. They involve additional running and more early mornings for not only the guilty party, but his teammates as well.

It's an approach to accountability that carries over into the classroom as well, and it's one that Ratliff says has brought the team closer together as they make sure to do their part to look out for themselves – and each other.

"The team chemistry is so good because we're responsible for each other," Ratliff says. "If one of us misses study hall, we all have to get up and run. If one us misses a class, we all have to get up and run. If one of us misses a (wind sprint) line, we all have to re-run it, the bigs and the guards.

"So you feel responsible for your teammates, and yet you feel responsible to make sure you get your job done. You don't want to be the reason why the whole team is running. You don't want to be the reason everyone has to get up Saturday at 5 a.m. and go run. It makes you be responsible for yourself and your teammates. We've pulled together like never before."

The Hoosiers got a taste of Sampson's early-morning workouts in the spring when he had the team getting together with strength coach Jeff Wilkinson bright and early. It's carried over to the fall, as the team has been gearing up for the start of practice Oct. 13 with Hoosier Hysteria.

"We're getting in shape for the season, doing a lot of running and lifting," Calloway said. "It's much different than last year, more organized."

It's also a part of instilling the sort of discipline that Sampson was well known for during his successful stint in the Big 12 at Oklahoma.

"You develop a habit of getting up early in the morning, discipline," Calloway said. "What you do in the morning is going to carry over to the court."


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