Dec. 3, 2008
We started our preseason by helping all of the new freshman move in. We spent a couple hours climbing a few flights of stairs and enjoying meeting and greeting the new Catamounts.
We also started weights the first day of class in the fall because we were all looking forward to getting this year started. Through our strength and conditioning coaches, were on a four-day weight workout plan, and mixed in individual skill work a few weeks later. We spent two days a week doing skill workout, and we split groups up everywhere because coach wanted to keep things fresh and keep up the competitive within the team. This is where we as players in our offensive and defensive packages.
Four weeks out from our opening day of practice, we started with our conditioning. We did this two days a week with coach changing things up a little this year. We did our normal station work such as jump rope, backboard touches, and slides - but Coach Hunter added a few things. He inserted a new defensive drill, which a lot of players said was the hardest. We have a certain amount of time and certain number of repetitions we have to meet.
Coach was also creative at the end; we did a running drill where we would run for a solid seven minutes. We would sprint the length of the floor, and allowed a 12 second break. This really got us in basketball shape with the constant going and short stopping.
The highlight of the preseason was our bowling trip. We went as a team and competed on a different hardware. It was a great time and we got see some skills that were hidden. New assistant coach Wade O'Connor was sleeping on us as he came out with a spin just like the pros.
Let's just say Coach Hunter needs to stick to the X's and O's where he is best.
After the bowling trip it was back to work. We had two scrimmage exhibitions against Presbyterian and USC Upstate. These games were necessary and gave us a opportunity to see where we were as a team, and what we needed improvement.
Then, it was off to nationally-ranked UConn for our opener and the season was underway. That, coupled with our trip to Alaska, have been the seasonal highlights to date thus far this season. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Alaska and all of the memories made there with the Mello family. Although we came up just short on our championship goal, we gained a lot of confidence by our play and really bonded as a team. We look for this to carry us through the remainder of our "pre-conference" season, and into Southern Conference play.
This week, we take our third plane trip of the season to Kent State where I will be returning to my home state of Ohio. Even though it is still about four hours from my hometown, I, as well as fellow Ohio native, Greg Avery, are looking forward to playing back in our state.
That's all for now. Keep up the support and Go Catamounts!
* Brigham Waginger of South Webster, Ohio, is a junior guard on the Western Carolina men's basketball team.