BOWLING GREEN — Ignore the calendar, which says July has just started. And ignore the schedule, which says the Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team won’t play a game until early November.
Believe it or not, the Falcons started practicing for the 2013-14 season on Monday.
NCAA rules allow men’s and women’s basketball teams to hold practices for two hours a week for eight weeks, a number that expands to eight hours per week if you include players lifting weights and conditioning.
Bowling Green coach Louis Orr said the Falcons began on the first day of the second summer session at BGSU, while working around coaches’ travel schedule and player’s summer classes.
“This is the first time we’ve been together since April, so it’s exciting,” Orr said. “Everybody’s role is going to be expanded, so everyone has a lot to look forward to.
“Everyone will be looked at to contribute more. They’re hungry, they have good character, and they’re excited to get back to work.”
Junior guard Anthony Henderson smiled when talking about reconnecting with his Falcon teammates at practice.
“It feels good [to be together] — I missed these guys,” the Start High School product said. “We haven’t been together since the end of school, so it was fun to be able to break a sweat with these guys.”
The Falcons’ practice was a combination of work on specific basketball skills, as well as running through some basics on offense and defense.
“We have three new faces, so we have a pretty experienced team,” Orr said. “And our freshmen are high-IQ guys who have been well-coached and have a good understanding of the fundamentals.
“So we do mainly skill work, and we’ll install some basic philosophies — things that we do consistently.”
Henderson said the summer practices are similar to the fall practices, with one major difference.
“These practices are only for an hour, so things are really fast paced for that hour,” he said. “In the fall we may go three hours, so they drag for a long time.”
Two players who did not take part in the practice were senior forward Craig Sealey and incoming freshman guard Zack Denny.
Sealey had a “clean-up” procedure on his knee, and Orr said that Sealey will be ready for the start of fall practices.
“It was something that was bothering him last year,” Orr said. “He played with some discomfort.
“But if it was something that could get cleared up before his senior year, that’s what we wanted to do.”
Orr said Denny is seeing a doctor about some minor discomfort, and Orr felt Denny would be back to full speed by the fall.
Henderson said these summer practices are getting him and his teammates excited for the upcoming season.
“There are opportunities for all of us,” he said. “Guys like me and Jehvon [Clarke] may have had spotty minutes, but we’re going to be in there a lot this year.”
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