June has brought the start of the summer training period for the Wichita State men’s basketball team, as all players except freshman Noah Fernandes (who is scheduled to arrive Monday) have been on campus since June 3.
The practice gym at Koch Arena is currently being remodeled and with team basketball camps ongoing on the main court, practice time has been limited for the players.
But one thing that hasn’t been affected has been the strength-and-conditioning plan for each of the players.
The Eagle caught up with WSU strength and conditioning coach Kerry Rosenboom to go over his plan for each scholarship player going into the 2019-20 season.
Jamarius Burton, 6-4 sophomore guard
Burton played last season at as much as 210 pounds, but Rosenboom has made it a goal for Burton to slim down to play next season at a “strong and lean” 195 pounds. Rosenboom is working on Burton’s flexibility, which will help improve his quickness and leaping ability.
“We want to make sure he still stays strong, but to get him lighter so we can do more agility and jump training and be more athletic,” Rosenboom said. “He had that knee surgery (in 2017), so another big focus is working to make sure his knee stays really strong. I think he’s trusting it more now and that’s going to allow us to increase his overall athleticism.”
Dexter Dennis, 6-5 sophomore guard
Dennis added around 10 pounds after he arrived at WSU and played most of last season at 205 pounds. Dennis wants to be bigger and stronger for next season, as Rosenboom has set a target weight for him to play between 212-215. Dennis is focusing on getting stronger and has requested extra core strengthening work. Already a tremendous athlete, Dennis is now focused on improving his flexibility for the upcoming season.
“We’re working on jump training and doing more one-legged jumps and we’re already seeing him jumping off his opposite leg a lot better,” Rosenboom said. “We’re just trying to keep working on what the Lord already gave him. We still want to jump a little higher, be a little quicker, get in a little deeper stance.”
Jaime Echenique, 6-11 senior center
During last summer, Echenique was around 230 pounds but bulked up and started the season at 255 pounds. Rosenboom wants Echenique to be around the same playing weight for this upcoming season, but the “No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3” goals for Echenique this summer is to improve his conditioning after averaging less than 18 minutes per game last season. Rosenboom is also targeting Echenique’s lower-body strength for more explosive jumps.
“I’ve never seen a person shut down more than Jaime when he gets tired and I’ve told him that multiple times,” Rosenboom said. “He’s doing cardio twice a day, and he’s doing better there. We want to get him a lot more athletic and get a lot deeper in his stance, so he can run way better than he did last year. We’re also focused on working on his strength and flexibility.”
Tyson Etienne, 6-1 freshman guard
Etienne arrived at WSU weighing 198 pounds and he’s told Rosenboom he wants to drop about 5 pounds for the season. Physically, Rosenboom said Etienne is the most college-ready player that Marshall has ever recruited to WSU. He’ll work with Etienne this summer on building his strength, improving his lateral quickness and flexibility to make him more explosive.
“Tyson is physically as good as any player coach Marshall has brought in,” Rosenboom said. “The only thing is that he’s kind of tight, so we’re going to have to make sure his knees are strong and get that flexibility up. We’ll get him stronger, but physically we probably won’t change much with his body. Our biggest thing is working on that flexibility to keep him healthy and out there.”
DeAntoni Gordon, 6-8 freshman forward
Gordon arrived on campus earlier this month weighing 200 pounds and after meeting with Rosenboom, wants to play this season at 225 pounds. It’s a similar strategy to the one Rod Brown followed his true freshman season at WSU, as he also bulked up by 25 pounds during a redshirt year.
“He’s not very strong right now, so we’re working on him with that and we want him to get as close to 225 before that first game as possible,” Rosenboom said. “But he’s bouncy. Very, very bouncy. So our biggest thing is making him as strong as possible, kind of like what we did with Rod. Do that as quick as possible, so he can contribute.”
Asbjorn Midtgaard, 7-0 junior center
Midtgaard arrived at WSU weighing 282 pounds in 2017 and played much of last season between 272 and 275 pounds. Rosenboom’s target weight for Midtgaard for the 2019-20 season is 265 pounds. Although Midtgaard has slimmed down, he has actually improved his strength while at WSU. Rosenboom is focusing on improving Midtgaard’s conditioning to improve his stamina and thinning out his legs, which will lead to better agility and jumping ability.
“The biggest thing we’re working on with Asbjorn is his lateral quickness,” Rosenboom said. “We want to make him quick enough where he can hedge on screens and get back to his guy. That’s such a big thing now with bigs in basketball. I’m really excited about his vertical because I think we can get his vertical up 6 or 8 inches. That’s why we’re trying to play a little lighter, and I think that’s going to make a huge difference for him. Being able to get up and jump better and then have a better second jump.”
Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, 6-9 sophomore center
Poor Bear-Chandler arrived at WSU as a freshman weighing 274 pounds and finished last season at 265. Rosenboom has taken a personal interest in Poor Bear-Chandler and wants a physical transformation for him next season, as the goal is to get him to a “lean and mean” 250 pounds by October. Rosenboom’s biggest focus is improving Poor Bear-Chandler’s strength and thinning out his legs, so he can be more explosive and athletic.
“Poor Bear should be one of the biggest differences, at least physically, the fans will see next year,” Rosenboom said. “He was at 283 at one point, but we’re going to make him a rip, cut, strong, better-jumping Poor Bear in the low 250s. If he keeps following what I want him to do, which I think he will, he’s going to be one people are going to be surprised with next year.”
Grant Sherfield, 6-2 freshman guard
Sherfield showed up to WSU weighing 197 pounds, and he’s told Rosenboom that range is where he wants to stay for this upcoming season. Rosenboom agreed on the target weight, but he wants Sherfield’s body to hold the weight differently.
“He kind of reminds me of Fred (VanVleet) coming here in terms of being at the right weight, but needing to change his body,” Rosenboom said. “We’re going to work with him to get him a lot leaner and continue to work on his strength. We want to get him more explosive and laterally quicker. He’s been working his tail off, so I think we’re going to cut him up and get him a lot more athletic.”
Erik Stevenson, 6-3 sophomore guard
Stevenson arrived at WSU weighing 194 pounds, but bulked up to as much as 210 pounds during the season. After meeting with Rosenboom, Stevenson said he wants to play a little lighter this season and has set a target weight of 200 pounds. He has changed his eating habits, and Rosenboom has already noticed improvements. The goal this summer is to improve his lateral quickness to improve Stevenson’s defense.
“After meeting with Erik, his biggest focus was, ‘How athletic can I get?’” Rosenboom said. “He’s been busting his tail to do all of those things and he’s done a great job so far. If he can get himself a little more quick-twitch and get his lateral quickness up, I think fans are going to see him guarding a lot better and jumping a lot better.”
Morris Udeze, 6-8 sophomore center
Udeze is still in the rehabilitation process from the shoulder surgery he had late February. At that time, WSU coach Gregg Marshall said Udeze would miss around five months, which puts his return some time in late July or early August. Rosenboom hasn’t been able to work with Udeze much this summer but did say he had been cleared to do work in the weight room except for bench press.
“We’re trying to get him as cut as possible and also lean him out and get him in the best possible shape,” Rosenboom said. “He’s another one who we’re trying to increase the strength with him.”
Trey Wade, 6-7 junior forward
After a season at junior college, Wade arrived at Wichita State weighing 209 pounds. But with the plan for Wade to play mostly as the small-ball power forward for WSU, Wade wants to play next season at 220 pounds.
“He has a really good foundation, and he should have an NBA body by the time we’re done,” Rosenboom said. “He’s going to put some pounds on and continue working on his strength. He’s going to come in and be at a really good place.”
Teddy Allen, 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore forward
Allen was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, criminal damage to property and theft early Thursday. On Friday, Allen made his first appearance in Wichita Municipal Court and his arraignment is scheduled for July 29.
WSU says it is investigating before making a decision about Allen’s status on the team.