PFB - Hoops Notebook: Freshmen Getting Acclimated, Lindy Waters Bigger

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Greenhorn
Feb 17, 2018
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Football season might be the next big thing on the docket, but the Cowboy basketball team is in Stillwater for its summer workouts, too. PFB was at the team’s individual workouts Monday, and here’s an early look into the Cowboys’ summer.

Newbies


The transition from high school to college basketball is a tough one, no matter how highly touted the recruiting class.

OSU’s freshmen are in their second week of workouts in Stillwater. They have early morning lift sessions before individual skill work in the afternoons. The group is still without grad transfer Jonathan Laurent, who is finishing up at UMass, but incoming freshmen Marcus Watson, Avery Anderson, Chris Harris, Kalib Boone and Keylan Boone are getting their first tastes of what OSU basketball is all about.

“It’s been tough,” Watson told PFB. “We’ve gotta adjust, but it’s been great. I love the hard work we’ve been doing. They really push us to be good and be great. They want us to work hard and get the best out of us.”

Mike Boynton’s Top 25 recruiting class is the best the program has had in a while, but senior forward Cameron McGriff said that status hasn’t gone to the newcomers’ heads.

“There’s no egos involved,” McGriff told PFB. “That’s the great thing. Having a group like that, you might have people with their own personal agendas. That tends to happen a lot, but this group, they came in, they want the best for the team. That’s always a good thing.”

Watson was the most impressive of the newcomers Monday, both physically and on the court. He looks big in his high school highlights, but there were uncertainties if that was just comparing him to his high school competition. It’s confirmed, he’s actually huge.

He showed off some athleticism early in Monday’s individual work, throwing down a dunk with his head near the rim. Here is what McGriff has noticed most about Watson to this point:

“His competitiveness,” McGriff said. “He’s gonna get after you defensively and offensively, as well. He doesn’t really shy away from competing.”

Watson is probably right where he needs to be at weight-wise. Anderson and the Boones are all on a journey to gain weight this summer, while Harris will probably lose a few pounds before the start of the season.

“(Harris is) a really hard worker,” Lindy Waters told PFB. “I think he can get even more out of himself. He needs to lose a little more weight. … He’s a great shooter. He knows the game pretty well. He has a lot to learn, but I think he’s gonna come around.”

The group of Cowboy freshmen check off a lot of archetype boxes. Anderson, is a shifty pass-first point guard. Harris is a shooting guard with a nice stroke. Watson is an all-around athlete. Keylan Boone is a slasher from the wing, and Kalib Boone is the group’s more traditional post player.

The individual work put the young players in some uncomfortable positions. For example, 6-9 Kalib Boone was expected to get through a cone dribbling drill just like 6-2 Anderson. If not, he’d have to start over. And later in a one-on-one drill, Anderson was expected to guard the larger Boone.

New-Look Lindy


Lindy Waters is sporting some flow on the top of his head that is kept out of his eyes with a head band. He is also bigger than he was in March, but he is still a walking bucket.

In a game the team calls King of the Court, it was no doubt Waters was king. It’s a one-on-one drill where the offensive player gets three dribbles before a shot. If he makes it, he stays, if he misses, the defender goes to offense and a new person comes off the baseline to defend.

Waters dominated his group Monday, a group that consisted of Thomas Dziagwa, Yor Anei, Chris Harris and Keylan Boone. If a defender even slightly fell for a ball fake, Waters went by him. If a defender left too much room, Waters would take a jab step and hit a jumper. If a defender played the scenario nearly perfectly, Waters still found a way to score.

For winning, Waters got to watch the rest of his groupmates rip off 20 push-ups. A few others had a few nice plays, but it wasn’t really close. Waters coolly said after that he only had one contact in, too.

“I’ve been working on my mid-post game the past month, and it shows right there,” Waters said. “It’s really fun because, for me, I get to play with them, knowing I can get my shot off at any moment. It’s just kinda like a chess match down there, and I’m really good at chess.”

Waters is carrying some extra weight around this summer. It comes in the form of muscle in his arms. He said he weighs 216, up 11 pounds from the 205 he said he played at last season.

He said he started his freshman and sophomore seasons at 205 before dropping to 195 in season. Last season, he focused on maintaining weight, playing the year at 205. Knee inflammation forced him to take it easier in practices toward the end of last season, and he said he gained 13 pounds in a month without the consistent conditioning.

Waters has since transitioned that extra weight into muscle in hopes it keeps him healthier in his senior season.

One-Offs


McGriff on the 3-point line moving out: “It’ll space the floor. It’ll help us as a team very much. It’ll open up the paint for drivers like Isaac (Likekele) as well as myself and Avery and Marcus, as well. Opening the lane to get more opportunities for us to get to the paint. We have great shooters around us, Chris and obviously Thomas and Lindy.”

McGriff on what he wants to improve on heading into the season: “My playmaking abilities one-on-one. I feel like that’s what I really lacked most of the time. … Playing after two or three bounces, it’s a weak spot.”

Watson on what stood out about OSU: “I just feel like I trusted Coach Mike. He told me all the things that a normal coach wouldn’t tell me. He told me the truth. It was one of those things like, it’s not gonna be easy, and I’m gonna have to come here and work. If you don’t work, you’re not gonna play. And if you work, you can play. It was one of those things that I really respect about him because he’s real. Any other coach, they’ll tell you, ‘This is what you got, this is what you got.’ He didn’t tell me none of that.”

The post Hoops Notebook: Freshmen Getting Acclimated, Lindy Waters Bigger appeared first on Pistols Firing.

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