BBall preview: Practice makes perfect

The men’s basketball team wrapped up its third full week of practice last week. So far the team has shown great intensity and competitiveness in both drills and scrimmages.

Intensity in practice has been extremely high, said senior Mike King, who has been nursing a turf-toe injury.

Head coach Tom Penders said competition among players is fierce and the team appears to be two players deep at every position. Penders is utilizing scrimmages with officials during practice this preseason. Penders said making practice as tough as the games will be enable players to make a smooth transition to the regular season. King said he likes Penders’ strategy.

We want to get into game situations to be more comfortable (once the season begins), King said.

Chris Monroe said he has seen the team gel so far in the practices.

Everyone goes hard in practice, so the competition is very good, Monroe said. Our team is really coming together.

Senior Anxton Iturbe and junior newcomer Attila Cosby have played well in the paint. Cosby has displayed great playmaking ability around the basket and offers a nice scoring touch to go along with an aggressive style of play on defense.

According to Penders, Two things contribute to the team’s improved depth: the extra year of experience the team has playing together and the team’s three freshmen.

(The freshmen) have mental toughness and desire to play at this level, Penders said. The three have played very well against already established college players.

The Colonial women have also been practicing hard, going six days a week. Practices have featured mostly drills and little scrimmaging, with an emphasis on getting the five freshman adjusted to the offensive and defensive systems.

According to head coach Joe McKeown, who enters his 11th season with the Colonials, practice is always a learning experience.It is like a class where the professor has three weeks to get you ready for a final instead of four months, McKeown said.

Coach McKeown said the competition and intensity levels have been pretty good so far in practice.In the next couple of weeks, practices will be much more competitive as the younger players become more comfortable, he said.The team’s added height this season is evident in practice, something that will balance the team’s offense, McKeown said. The team will be able to move the ball inside better, instead of depending on outside shooting – something the team was forced to do last season.

Both teams will continue to practice hard in preparation for this week’s regular season openers. The women will host the University of Delaware in the women’s pre-season National Invitational Tournament Friday night. The men begin their season at home against Texas A&M University Nov. 18

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