Hey hoops fans, sorry for the late-night entry today. Working on some special stuff for the launch of the season.
The ‘Bows continued to work behind closed doors today, this time in the Stan Sheriff Center. Coach Gib Arnold sounded like he’s liked the effort he’s getting from his guys in the closed setting, but let’s hope it’s only a temporary thing at the start of the season. Blog material might be on the lighter side without observations to jot down, so let’s hope it’s back to normal after Saturday’s exhibition against Chaminade.
Check out Thursday’s paper for updates about starters for Saturday’s game.
Today’s Q&A transcript is of junior point guard Anthony Salter. Please keep in mind that this interview was taken before Salter hurt his left heel and was slated to miss two weeks leading up to the season opener.
Q: What was conditioning and workouts like before practices started?
A: Ever since I got here, we have been going crazy hard. Throughout the week, Saturday on the beach, Sunday study hall, so we just been going and going and going. We just been doing a lot of hard work in the weight room, in the gym, condition-wise. Just trying to get ready for the season, ‘cause last year we didn’t do as well as we should have. So we got a lot of new goals and a lot of things we’re going to try to accomplish this year. So we just had to work hard in this preseason, man.
What were those beach sessions like at Waikiki?
Every Saturday for eight weeks, we out there working and doing conditioning and things like that. That’s tough, and it’s before the crack of dawn, too. It’s just tough, man, but I enjoyed the team bond. It was nice to get out there with the team, doing everything. It was a good experience, but it’s probably the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life.
Sprints in the sand, slides in the sand, slides with the heavy medicine balls in the sand. Laying on your back, getting up, sprinting. Coach Chris (strength coach McMillian) tell us what to do, but I think Coach Gib the mastermind behind all that hard work out there.
On arriving in Hawaii from junior college in Iowa:
Man, ever since I got out of high school, it’s just been an ongoing journey. Hopefully this isn’t the end of it, either. Coming from Florida, going to Iowa, that was like a huge, huge thing for me. I never seen the snow or those kind of things, and it snowed out there, heavy. Even during spring break it was snowing. And then from there, two years … that was a long experience for me. But going from there to coming out here, to a tropical island-type vibe, I’m getting everything I can get on this journey that I’ve been on since I graduated from high school. I mean, I’m enjoying it. Sometimes it leave me weird, but I’m enjoying the ride. I’m enjoying the ride.
On being reminded of home in Tallahassee, Florida:
Yeah, because of the weather and it’s a lot of different … in Florida, it’s a melting pot too of different races and things like that. Out here it’s just like that, a lot of different cultures and things. So it’s real similar. The only thing is the big-time difference is the fact that even in the winter, it’s not cold. In Florida it get a little cold, but out here, y’all don’t know what cold is.
On what he can help bring to the team:
Well, I’m new to Division I stage myself, so it’s going to be an adjustment for myself, first and foremost. But as far as what I bring to the team, I’m just going to try to be vocal, being the leader from the point guard position. Somebody who you can count on throughout the whole season, and who’s going to work hard. I just want to be a leader, just try to lead my team to win more ball games. That’s all. I’m not saying they didn’t have that last year, but I’m going to do my part in doing that. So hopefully, with the rest of the guys buying in and playing their role and with me doing my role to the best of my ability, it just make us a better team as a whole. I don’t think I possess these great talents to just come in and promise us 50 victories or nothing like that. But I can be leader for my team and play hard and work hard for my coaching staff. Be an extension of my coaches out there on the floor, that’s what I’m focusing on.
On being the vocal guy at JUCO:
Yeah, because at high school, I mean, I was a leader for my team, but I was just so focused on trying to put the ball in the hole, that’s all I thought about, is putting the ball in the hole. But when I got to junior college, my coaches really put it in my head that it will make me more marketable to make me a good floor general, a leader out there, so I’ve just been trying hard to be that leader on the court and off the court. That’s what I’ve been working on ever since I stepped on the college scene. I just want to work on my leadership skills and being a floor general and somebody who’s out there, trying to get guys involved, make sure guys’ heads are still in the game, make sure guys going hard and things like that. That’s what I’m focused on.
On his speed and quickness:
That’s like, I rely on that because as you can see, I’m not one of the bigger guys in the weight room. Some guys don’t have that frame on them. I rely on my speed and quickness more than anything, my ability to go places on the court, get there at different speeds. Try to go at, get around defenders and try to make plays for my teammates where they comfortable at. I just rely on my speed and quickness more than anything. That’s my backbone.
On the season outlook:
It’s going to be a totally new team. It’s going to be real exciting too, because I know Coach Gib, he’s real fond of the islands. I feel like he got a lot of pressure on himself to try to make this thing come together and make it work. I mean, it’s definitely going to be new and exciting, they can count on that. I can’t guarantee a tournament, sweet 16, nothing like that, but I can guarantee we’re going to play hard, it going to be fun to watch, and we going to give the fans a nice showing every time they come out there.
Well, I know we have a lot of talent. And the stuff that Coach run, he want to keep us spaced on the floor and do the type of things that he recruited us to do. So with that freedom out there with his coaching, that’s just going to make the plays a whole lot more exciting, because you going to see every player at their strength. So I just think that will make us a better team for itself.
On the point guards:
Hiram (Thompson), he’s a veteran out there. He’s a senior, and just the fact that he’s been here and done it a few times, that in itself is going to be able to help Coach. Me, I don’t have any Division I experience, but I do have junior college experience. I’m comfortable, I feel like I can do a lot of things out there for Coach. Knocking down open shots, creating shots for myself and others. Bobby (Miles), he’s just comfortable there. He’s just real comfortable. He can be a point guard who gets out there and runs the sets for coach, and he can also put the ball in the hole. He was a real high recruit coming out of high school, so I know he possesses the talent to put the ball in the hole and do a lot of other things, too. I just think with that rotation, it going to be, Coach can feel real comfortable with any one of us out there. I just feel like he’ll be comfortable putting any one of us out there any time of the game. I’m comfortable with any one of us out there at any time of the game. Just that in itself, we’ll be real good at the point guard spot.