Dawgs' Bite Magazine Excerpts

Richard Akins rejoined the MSU University athletic department family on June 1st of this year when he was hired as the strength coach for the MSU men's basketball team. Coach Akins took time out of his busy schedule to talk about the strength and conditioning aspects of the basketball program with Dawgs' Bite Magazine. Included are excerpts from the 1,500+ magazine article. The magazine will be mailed in November.

DB: Overall, what were your impressions of the freshmen?
I think they have a great work ethic and they are very coachable. As far as strength and conditioning, a few of them have a long way to go.

DB: Individually, give me your impressions of the newcomers - Jamont Gordon, Vernon Goodridge, Richard and Reginald Delk and Bernard Rimmer.
Jamont is a hard worker who has done a great job. Although he's a big, thick, strong kid, he still had to learn how to lift weights. We just have to get him stronger and stronger. His conditioning was pretty good, but when a freshman comes here it is a big change from what they are accustomed to doing. We are training them for the SEC, while they have been training for high school. Because of that, some of it is very tough on them.

Vernon is a big kid who we had to do a lot of teaching with. And we are still teaching him. He needs to get a little tougher. But Vernon works hard and is very coachable.

The Delk twins are very hard workers and great kids. We just need to get them stronger and put some more weight on them. As for their conditioning, some guys can run and some guys struggle with it, but they are two guys that can run. When they went though the conditioning this year, they had no problem. They are kind of like the Energizer Bunny.

And Rimmer is the same way. He can run all day. He also has a tremendous attitude. He will do whatever you want him to do and he always has a smile on his face. He is fun to be around. He reminds me of (former MSU basketball player) Michael Gholar. What we need to do with him is get him stronger, but he has pretty good strength for a freshman. But if he is going to play in that 3 or 4 spot, then he has to get bigger and stronger.

DB: Vernon was considered one of the top shot-blockers in the nation last year. What have you seen from him that helps you understand why he was able to do that?
He can jump. He has some explosiveness about him.

DB: One publication listed Jamont Gordon as one of college basketball's 11 impact freshmen this year. What have you seen about him that impresses you?
I think he is a tough-minded kid. He reminds me a lot of (former MSU basketball player) Marcus Bullard in how tough he plays. He wants to get into somebody (defensively) and wants to win.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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