Andrew Koob (@AndrewKoob)
The Temple basketball team has been prepping for the upcoming season in their brand-new Pearson/McGonigle practice court and in the weight room. On Wednesday, the Owls found a new spot to work out: Edberg-Olsen Hall, the home of Temple’s football team and another recently-upgraded facility.
“At the beginning of the day, we didn’t know what we were doing,” senior guard T.J. DiLeo told CoBL on Thursday. “We just knew that we had some sort of conditioning thing at 3 o’clock and that it was going to be something a little different. We found out we were going to the football facility, working out with their strength coach, doing some of the stuff they do.”
The workout consisted of plate (45-pound weights) pushes, rope whips and a partner workout where one person would do wall sits with 45 pounds while the other would do more plate pushes.
“We did all of that a couple of times and after that we were dead,” DiLeo said.
Everyone felt the burn on Wednesday, including junior guard Dalton Pepper, who said the rope whips were the hardest part of the workout.
“Because it’s something I’ve never done personally, it worked out muscles that I haven’t worked out in a while,” he said. “It just tired me out the fastest.”
“I think the hardest part was definitely the rope swings” added DiLeo. “Training your arms like that, it’s definitely hard. That was tough for us. We do a lot of leg workouts, a lot of conditioning, but swinging the ropes really conditions you and trains your arms.”
Assistant coach Dwayne Killings, who came up with the idea for the football-like workout, believes that this sort of workout will help the team bond and become stronger.
“We want to get them to work, get them in better condition and put them in the right mindset,” he said. “The football guys, they bring it every week, so I think it’s a great atmosphere for those guys and I think we might do it again just to continue that same theme of being faster, tougher, stronger. Our opponents are working hard every day, so we have to try and outwork them.
“At one of our athletic staff meetings, we talked to our strength and conditioning coach, Mark Proto, and theirs down there, Frank (Piraino). The football guys do a great job of bringing intensity to try and push these guys a little bit, doing some different things to make them feel like they’re tougher, but at the same time get them a really great workout.”
The new workout, along with the practices that the Owls have held, have both DiLeo and redshirt sophomore center Anthony Lee excited about the upcoming season.
“I really like how hard everybody’s working,” DiLeo said. “Even over the summer and in the practices we’ve seen so far, there’s been good intensity and everyone really wants to compete. Everyone’s pushing each other and I just think that overall there’s good camaraderie.”
“Everybody’s been competing,” said Lee, who’s put on over 20 pounds of muscle over the summer. “We’ve got a new team, got a lot of faces back, but some new faces and the freshman have been competing a lot, the new faces are competing and it’s going to be exciting to see what happens when we get closer to the first practice.”
As of now, schools are only allowed to practice two hours per week. Official practices open for the Owls and the rest of the NCAA on October 12th.