Team reflects on Colorado scrimmage
Everybody seemed pleased with how things went in Boulder for their scrimmage vs. Colorado this past weekend. Larry Brown exaggerated that the team ‘shot about 80 percent from the field.' He was also pleased with their conditioning and said, "They didn't even get tired in the altitude." Before practice, freshman guard Sterling Brown said he was happy with the team's performance, but they still have things they need to work on. "It was a good level to see where we are at," Brown said. "They are a preseason top-25 team, and we went out there and played well. We need to build from it because we still got a lot of things we need to work on."
Kennedy shines in return to practice
Markus Kennedy was back at practice after missing a few days last week for academic reasons. Kennedy looked strong in his return on both ends of the floor. He finishes really well around the basket and has much more of a post game than anybody else on the roster. The rest of the team's big are long and athletic, but Kennedy will be the much needed toughness and beef in the middle. He asked the coaches a lot of questions about offensive sets and seemed out of place at times, but he played really hard throughout the day and has a good back to the basket game. His highlights included a couple big dunks in transition and one huge block on Keith Frazier from behind.
Both Moore's look impressive
No surprises here, but both Ben and Nic Moore had really great practices today. Nic showed off his terrific shooting ability, especially from deep, by making just about every shot he took. He was also the most vocal player on the court and helped the coaches keep everybody in the right position. Ben has worked to improve on his midrange jumper and continued to make an impact on the defensive end. At times he is almost too quiet, and Larry Brown had to push him to be more assertive and aggressive on offense. Still, I think Ben's athleticism and length is such an asset to the team that he will get big minutes this season. Also, every one of the coaches seems to love his work ethic and attitude.
Frazier works to improve his game
After a difficult couple practices, Keith Frazier came out really focused on playing better today. He was out at practice 30 minutes early to work on his jumper and played with great energy throughout practice. He asked all the coaches multiple questions and showed much more focus on the defensive end. Frazier is working on playing smarter and having better shot-selection. He still gets lost a few times on defense and struggles with his understanding of the offense, which frustrated coaches Ulric Maligi and Eric Snow a lot. It seems like they are going to make him earn his playing time this season, so Frazier ran with second and third units all day.
• Crandall Head was back at practice today after sitting out for poor academics. He struggled a little bit with his floor spacing, but said he was very happy to be back on the court.
• The team ran a mini-scrimmage today where Nic Moore, Nick Russell, Jalen Jones, Markus Kennedy, and Yanick Moreira got extended minutes together. I would expect those to be the starters Friday night, but Brown mixed and matched with the lineups a lot today.
• Ryan Manuel had a good practice. He shot the ball really well and finished a couple nice alley-oops.
• Jalen Jones looks like he is in terrific shape and still working on developing his perimeter game. His highlight was when he finished a really nice dunk in transition over Cannen Cunningham.
• Nick Russell is getting better playing off the ball, but needs to improve his outside shot. Still, he is a terrific passer and really smart player.
• Yanick Moreira has done a great job so far, but needs to have better hands in the post. He turned the ball over a couple times because he couldn't catch passes in traffic.
• Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy play really well off one another and ran a couple great pick and rolls together. Associate head coach Tim Jankovich worked a lot with them individually today.
• Brown repeatedly told the team ‘defense was how they were going to win games.' He said it's much easier to play defense in college than it is the NBA because of certain rules about closing out on shooters, so they should be flawless on that end and protect the paint at all costs.
Hoops Practice Notebook
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