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Journal Entry #1, December 28, 1999
We spend most of our morning workout continuing to work on our team and not so much the opponent. We did not begin discussing the next opponent, Furman, until late in the practice. We are currently focusing on our defense, with an emphasis on foot discipline and communication. Because there is a large amount of youth on our team, there is a lot to learn in terms of Coach Shyatt’s defensive philosophy, terminology, and what he expects out of our defense. Also because of our youthfulness, we struggle to talk on defense. Communication is a key on defense. It provides the team with a sense of urgency, togetherness and confidence. Often times the more confidence a player or a person has, the louder a person will talk because he or she has a confidence in what it is they are saying.
We briefly discussed Furman at the end of practice. We talked about their tendencies on offense and defense and mentioned some personnel. The Furman game is very important to our team at this point in the season for many reasons. The first reason is confidence. We have now played 11 games and have not played as well as we would like. This is the last non-conference game before the ACC season begins and we need to get some momentum before it starts. Another reason is that Furman is a good team and a win against them would help build confidence. Also the game is at the Bi-Lo Center, an arena that we have never played particularly well in. As a young team we need a big win away from home to help relax us as we go on the road in the ACC.
The school is still on Christmas break so there continues to be no one on campus. At least we had the football team here with us, but that changed as they went to Atlanta to prepare for the Peach Bowl. During this time we do not have a lot to do, so the coaches get us in the gym as much as they can. We spent time practicing, watching film and working with our strength coach.
A new strength coach came aboard this past spring and he has proven to be a valuable addition to the team. His name is Jeff Watkinson and he has been working with us since June. He is very good at bringing exercises to the team that are basketball related. There is not an exercise that we do, inside or outside of the weight room, that does not directly relate to the game of basketball. We had an extensive workout this summer with him that lasted until practice started in October. We have continued to work out during the season. We did a short work out after practice to help us maintain our strength during the long season. After the lift, Coach Watkinson took Dustin Braddick and Ray Henderson to a pool for a cardiovascular workout.
As the team gets further into the season and plays more games, we practice less which means less work for me. I needed an extra workout so I went with them to the pool. Most of the guys will spend time in their rooms the remainder of the day until we meet again tonight for a briefing on Furman. During this time we will watch tape and discuss Furman as a team.
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