Here is my practice report from to day (Wednesday).
The team practiced for a little over 2 hours this afternoon. Here are a few notes:
-Coaches are really emphasizing taking charges this year. Every time a player takes a charge in practice, the entire team claps and pats the charge-taker on the back. And this isn't just a golf clap. It gets loud. Coach G even stopped practice one time because guys weren't being loud enough after a charge.
-Aggressive man-to-man defense is being emphasized. Team-defense and help-side assignments are still a priority, but the guys have really been getting in each others faces on defense.
-We are using a new philosophy in our 2-3 zone. The assignments have changed a little. It's too complicated to describe on here, but it looks good and should be an improvement.
-The coaches are putting in a few new offensive sets which utilize spreading out the court and running the fast break. I am not going to give anything away, but it is very similar to how UNC runs the fast break.
-We are still running the high post some. I don't think we will run it the majority of the time, but we will still run it at times. Freshman Justin Knox is an ideal high post guy, and I imagine we will run it some when he and Richard are in the game, with Knox at the high and Richard at the low.
-Alonzo Gee is a beast. We all knew this, but he is taking it to a new level. He looks to have lost a little weight and seems to be a lot quicker off the dribble and on the defensive end.
-Rico Pickett is looking good. I don't see him as a guy that is going to score a lot of points for us this season, but he is a very good distributor. He is very athletic, one of the most athletic guards we have had in a long time.
-Justin Knox has also looked good. He is experiencing some growing pains relative to learning the offense, but has still looked good. He is an excellent shot blocker and has a very good mid-range jumper.
-Of the freshman, Senario Hillman has definitely impressed me the most. He is the most athletic player we have had here since Gerald Wallace. His leaping ability is incredible. He is very quick and looks like he is going to be a really good defender. On the offensive end, he has ridiculous handles, reminds me a lot of Kennedy Winston. He is very good at creating off the dribble. Right now, he is kind of a streaky shooter, but when he is on, he doesn't miss. If he works on his shot a little bit, he could end up being one of the best we've had come through in a while.
From what I can gather, these guys seem to be the guys who will start this weekend in Canada:
with Senario as the first guy off the bench.