“I’m a big believer in skill development and player development,” Wojciechowski said. “So in the summer a lot of what we tried to do was to build, improve and add to parts of guys’ games, and I think you can get in great condition while learning to play the game.”
The first-year Marquette head coach said he obviously never observed a Williams practice, but the team has fully bought into his more skill-centered scheme.
Senior team captains Juan Anderson and Derrick Wilson have experienced offseasons under both Williams and Wojciechowski, and while modifications have certainly been noted, they’ve been met with positive attitudes.
Anderson called the change a “great” one with “no knock” intended to Williams’ methods.
[Juan Anderson is now a Senior in '14-15]
“Everybody knows boot camp was hard, and, you know, we won games because of it, and I’m a firm believer in that,” Anderson said. “At the same time, with Wojo there’s a lot more skill work. Everything slows down. We still do conditioning, but it’s not boot camp. Again there’s no knock to anybody but there is a difference.”
Where toughness has been a staple of Marquette basketball, cold shooting spells plagued the team significantly last season. According to Wilson, the Golden Eagles are already showing signs of offensive improvement under Wojciechowki.
“They gave each of us a shooting chart over the summer,” Wilson said. “I (for example) had to get up 2,000 shots at least a week. A lot of guys did that and in gym and open practice, you can see guys’ shots improving.”
Wilson believes most of Marquette’s roster is already mentally tough, and the changes to the team’s style of conditioning have allowed for greater emphasis to be placed on team accountability along with skill work.
“We did this thing called ‘the program’ about two weeks ago, which is more like a team bonding thing,” Wilson said. “It made us step up and say things to the next guy if he wasn’t doing his job. And I think a lot of guys in college basketball in general have a problem when you’re friends off the court, and you have to (call each other out) when you’re on the court.”
Thus far, Wojciechowski’s practices embody the overarching theme of collectivity surrounding this season’s Marquette squad. They reflect a coach will attempt to get the most out of the roster he has, while simultaneously building for the future.
On the players’ end, not much has changed. They’ve gone to work with the same level of intensity as years’ past.
“Our guys have worked hard,” Wojciechowski said. “They would tell you they’re in great shape. We’re excited, and I think all the guys are excited about the opportunity to build something