Teaneck, NJ - The games are what captivate us.
Face it, does the casual fan get excited about a practice? To them, those 2-3 hour sessions are necessary evils, from a spectator’s vantage point, leading to the finished product: The game, and for your team, hopefully a victory. Players and coaches view it differently.
For the former, it is a chance to not only prepare for an upcoming opponent, but an opportunity to get better. Granted, there are times players do not look forward to practice, but in the end realize they are required if you want to improve.
Coaches view practice like a laboratory. They are teachers instructing their pupils in the finer points of the game. Practice can also tell a lot about a coach. Hall of Fame mentor Jim Calhoun once said, “if I know nothing about your program and I can’t tell what your plan or philosophy is by watching your two-hour practice, then I do not feel you are a good coach.”
So much of this came to mind on Wednesday. FDU coach Greg Herenda held an open practice before his team left on a trip to Montreal. There will be practices and two games in Canada. The significance in this three hours at Rothman Center lie in the fact that the team was meeting for the first time since spring workouts. Coaches were on hand to observe and take notes. Herenda greeted and chatted with each as he also directed drills that lasted three to five minutes.
The exhibition games in Canada have our interest, to see how the defending Northeast Conference champions fare and who among them stands out. Beyond that, the open practice gave us much more of an insight: A veritable behind the scenes basketball education, the planning, preparation and teaching culminating in the finished product, a part of the game we as fans often take for granted. A part of the game, recommended to see if afforded the opportunity, that is invaluable in shaping a program’s success.
FDU begins their workout by running the half court offense:
Assistant coach Dwayne Lee surveys the action as the Knights initiate the offense:
Assistant coach Bruce Hamburger watches a half court drill:
The follow-through on three-point shooting:
Free throw practice, never to be neglected:
Coach Greg Herenda addresses the team at the conclusion of the day's work:
The team huddle, with the Knights' next stop coming in Montreal: