Men’s Basketball Practice Underway – UTRGV Athletics - Techy Hunters

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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Men’s Basketball Practice Underway – UTRGV Athletics

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) men’s basketball team held its first official full team practice of the 2021-22 season on Tuesday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
 
“It’s always a special time when you get to your first practice,” UTRGV head coach Matt Figger said. “There’s a lot of excitement. A lot of optimism and hope for the season. Kids are hungry. They’re ready to prove themselves.”
 
UTRGV gets 42 days to prepare for the season with 30 of those days allowed on the court. That’s an average of five days of practices every week for six weeks, although UTRGV can schedule the days anyway they like. The breakdown gives UTRGV an opportunity to build up the team’s stamina in a methodical, controlled way.
 
“We are trying to build to the point at which these guys are able to sustain going over two hours a day on the practice court,” Figger said. “Games are two hours long, so we’ve got to teach and condition our bodies to go full speed for two hours. That’s the biggest thing.”
 
UTRGV has had significant time together already, practicing throughout the summer and during the first few weeks of the fall semester as well. Those practices were structured differently, though, as there are NCAA-mandated time restrictions on offseason training. Additionally, much of that time was focused on individual learning, whereas the next six weeks will largely be focused on learning and growing as a team.
 
“We are trying to start working on our transition defense and continue to learn what we want to do schematically offensively and what we want to do schematically defensively,” Figger said. “There’s more focus on the 5-on-5 side. Everything’s a build. We’re continuing to grow the pieces together. We have guys learning new roles. We also have guys learning me because everyone is new to me. They’re leaning my tone and tempo in practice. There’s a lot of things that those guys have to get used to that’s different than what they’ve done in the past.”
 
As for how that first practice went?
 
“Practice was very competitive,” Figger said. “It wasn’t very clean. There are a lot of things we have to improve on before we play our first game, but that’s why you practice.”

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