Practice picks up the pace

Oct 08, 2013 - Posted by knielsen on October 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm

With practice starting, the BYU men's basketball team is getting up to speed -- literally. There's a lot more to head coach Dave Rose's system than just running, but whether it's called pace, transition, speed or up-tempo it's the first step in making everyone fit together on the court.

"Sometimes it's nice getting a break in the spring and summer," junior forward Josh Sharp said, "but that's the main part of our game, being able to run and push the ball."

Pushing the ball and running the court makes for extra opportunities on offense and is made much easier with an aggressive defense that causes turnovers. Getting everything working together can take the weeks of practice the basketball team has before its opener against Weber State on Nov. 8.

"We're playing a really fast pace and each day of practice we're executing a little bit more and more," junior forward Nate Austin said. "By the time we start playing games I think our team will look good. We're gelling well right now and our team is excited to play ball on the defensive end as well as on the offensive end."

Junior guard Matt Carlino said the fast pace makes it easier to get used to playing with the six new players. 

"The more and more we play the better we'll be," Carlino said. "It's way more fun and way more natural playing fast. If we can play like that I think we'll be great."

Of course, the new players knew what they were getting into, but they've still had some surprises. 

"At my last school we ran so I thought I'd be more used to it," freshman forward Eric Mika said, "but it's a lot more running than I ever did there. I wouldn't say it's the easiest thing, but every day I try to get a little better and a little more comfortable."

For Salt Lake Community College transfer Skyler Halford, the speed makes him feel much more comfortable.

"I love running up and down the floor," Halford said. "The pace we play at is the type of pace I like to play at and I play well in."

Freshman guard Frank Bartley IV enjoys learning at a fast pace. 

"I love how it's up-tempo all the time," Bartley said. "Our practice is up-tempo, we play up-tempo, everything we do is at a fast pace."

At the end of the day, the pace keeps player's minds off other things and helps make practice enjoyable.

"It adds an exciting aspect to the game," Austin said. "It's coach Rose's style, but it's fun. You can get up and go. It makes practices fun. It makes games fun. It helps us win games."