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Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Gym Report

CAVEAT EMPTOR: This post contains hopeful news about U of L Men’s basketball. If that might cause indigestion, angina, severe anxiety toward your heirs and assigns, neuritis, neuralgia, lower back pain or psoriasis, consider yourself warned.

Jim Price was in the gym watching workouts and pickup games over the weekend, where he appears periodically even though he lives in Naptown.

As was Chris West, a member of the ‘86 national championship squad.

At some point, he looked over at Gym Eyes, and they talked about how different summer practice is this year from last.

Way more talent.

More basic skills.

How the players go through drills full speed, instead of “loping.”

He is, I’m advised, “impressed.”

The squad, I’m told, goes at each other hard, and with physicality.

* * * * *

Again, my expectations for improvement are tempered by caution.

We’ll see how all this translates when the season starts.

* * * * *

My man courtside confirms there’s a reason Trentyn Flowers, even though he’s a year ahead of his class, is now making the upper tier of some projected NBA Draft Pick lists.

GE: What Flower does is “just silly.” “Just stupid.” (Both expressed in an eye further opened positive manner.)

“He’s really good.”

When I asked about his maturity level, the response was “it seems so.”

Tre White is said to ball with an attitude, but has a generally playful demeanor.

Unlike spot up shooter Curtis Williams Jr., who plays with an attitude but has “an edge about him.” When I inquired if it’s Ellis Myles level, the answer was “Yeah, he and Tre get into it.”

* * * * *

JJ Traynor was exemplary during the three point shooting drill.

He was beat up a bit in the pickup game, because he was guarding Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. Because the other bigs, Dennis Evans III and Manny Okorafor, along with Danilo Jovanovich, are still rehabbing from minor injuries out of caution.

B H-H has been spending a lot of time in weight room, and working on his footwork which appears improved.

Skyy Clark continues to impress with his quickness, shiftiness and ability to see the open man and get the ball to him.

Unlike the report last time out, Mike James was more aware of cutting teammates and got them the ball for assists.

Koron Davis, at 6-7, has considerable “guard skills.”

Despite reports at other sites, my guy has not seen Ty-Laur Johnson, and doesn’t know if he’s in town or not.

Hercy Miller is still around, and is improved, though my guess is this season his role will be diminished on court, while he provides experience and maturity for his young mates to tap into.

Hope springs.

— c d kaplan