Bulldogs Wrap Up Summer Workouts
Aug. 18, 2016
RUSTON -- Thirteen members of the Louisiana Tech men's basketball team recent wrapped up five weeks of summer workouts which included practices on the court as well as strength and conditioning.
Per NCAA rules, the Bulldogs were allowed to work out eight hours per week with two hours being on the floor and the other six hours spent lifting weights and doing conditioning.
More importantly for head coach Eric Konkol who enters his second season at the helm, the team spent the team coming together and getting acclimated both academically and socially.
"I think it was a really good time for the players to come together," Konkol said. "That is what the summer is really all about. I think it is a group that is very focused on improvement. They were very focused in the weight room and trying to do exactly what [our strength and conditioning coach] Casey Cathrall was asking them to do.
"And then on the basketball floor, I thought we had some terrific competition. That is what we want to be about. Trying to build that cohesion with all of the new guys defensively and offensively was really important."
A lot of the time spent on Karl Malone Court in the Thomas Assembly Center or at Scotty Robertson Memorial Gym was skill development -- passing, dribbling and shooting. Other time was spent in groups of two or three going over concepts.
The shooting portion of skill development centered on three-point shooting. Players would attempt to make as many three-pointers from one spot with one ball and one rebounder in five minutes.
Two players were able to join the 70-club. Junior Jacobi Boykins set the team record with 72 made three-pointers at the very beginning of summer workouts, but redshirt senior Erik McCree broke it later on with a whopping 76 threes.
"Erik is very motivated to have a great year, both for him and for Louisiana Tech men's basketball," Konkol said. "He has gotten so strong. He is spending a ton of time by himself and with others shooting. He really wants to have the best senior year possible and lead this team."
Five newcomers -- DaQuan Bracey, Jalen Harris, JaColby Pemberton, Oliver Powell and Omar Sherman -- joined the returners for the summer session and immediately bonded and impressed the coaching staff.
"They are a determined group," Konkol said. "They are guys that come from winning programs with great coaches. They have hit the ground running and have mixed in very well with our upperclassmen."
While the five new Bulldogs got to spend five weeks with Cathrall lifting weights and working on conditioning, the returners have had the whole spring as well which has produced improvements in several areas like bench press and shuttle times.
"This is [the returners] first full summer because Casey Cathrall joined us August 1 of last year," Konkol said. "You can go down the list of returners and see their numbers have improved so much from a year ago. I am proud of that leadership they have shown. They are seeing their bodies change and their numbers change. It has become contagious in the whole group."
At the end of the summer basketball grind with weights, drills and school work, the team capped it off by playing a sport of a different variety -- baseball with a wiffle bat and a tape ball.
Some showed they could do more than dunk by hitting home runs. Others showed why they basketball and only basketball.
The entire team will reconvene in Ruston in a few weeks for the start of the fall quarter when the grind starts up again in preparation for the 2016-17 season.
For all the latest in Bulldog Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechHoops), Instagram (@LATechHoops) and Facebook (LATechMBB) or visit the official website at LATechSports.com.
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