THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER
On Saturday morning, October 12, 2002, this year's edition of Rutgers Men's Basketball will hit the RAC floor. The first thing that most people will notice is that the team appears a step quicker and a little bit more muscular. The off-season weight program was part of the regiment used by team members to keep in shape. The most visible or obvious change to the untrained eye will be to Kareem Wright who has lost weight and toned up. He looks like a different person.
Every roster member except Adrian Hill was on campus this summer. Each one of them took at least one class during Summer Session. All of the upper class men except Harry Good participated in the supervised weight-training program. Freshmen and transfers were not allowed to participate in organized activities like weight training during the summer acclamation session.
Jason Pisecki, Kareem Wright and Harry Good each participated in the renowned Pete Newell Big Man Camp. Newell a former player and a coach is known for the straightforward manner through which he teaches the basic concepts of post play to big men. Kermit Washington, Danny Manning and Danny Ferry are three of the camp alumni. Closer to home Josh Sankes spent a summer with Newell.
Newell teaches act and react techniques for offense and defense. His camp stresses that basketball is like chess; you must be one move ahead of your opponent. You must be able to read your opponents moves before he makes them. Look for his weaknesses and cause your opponent to react to you. He stresses footwork and the quick first step. He makes the difficult seem simple to understand.
Meanwhile, Jerome Coleman toured Australia with Sports Tours International while Ricky Shields went to Africa as part of a group with Athletes In Action. Both guards had statistically productive trips. They used the trip to hone some of their skills. Jason McCoy was busy because he went to England with Sports Tours International and then he and teammate, Mike Sherrod, went to Hopla shooting camp.
Shooting instructor, Dave Hopla, was a former college and European player. He has worked with such Superstars as Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, Allan Houston and Gary Payton as their individual instructor. He has studied and mastered the mechanics of shooting and made it into a science. Dave lectures and shoots 500 shots during a session; he averages about 98-99% makes while lecturing to large groups. He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk.
Dave Hopla works with the individual and shows them the proper footwork and hand elbow position as part of the basic mechanics of shooting. He shows the athlete how to shoot off the dribble and perfect the lateral ball slide technique. He is world- renowned.
In other updates, Sean Axani spent his spare time at the Jersey Shore Basketball League. Axani continued to put on muscle for his expanded post role this year. He also honed his perimeter skills. Juel Wiggans hit the classroom, the weight room and the practice courts. Finally, Herve Lamizana hit the weight room, played at the JSBL and spent a week assisting at ABCD Camp.
Mike and the Big Dog LLC.