Gregg Marshall talks biggest surprise of spring workouts and 2019 WSU basketball recruits
At the start of the summer, Wichita State strength and conditioning coach Kerry Rosenboom sat down with each men’s basketball player and designed a summer workout plan.
Now that summer workouts have concluded and the players have the next few weeks off before classes at WSU start on August 19, Rosenboom gave The Eagle an update on each scholarship player heading into the 2019-20 season.
Josaphat Bilau, 6-10 freshman forward
Bilau was a late signee to WSU’s 2019 recruiting class, which meant he was a late arrival to Wichita. Minor injuries have prevented him from fully participating in summer workouts, which has in turn limited him in the weight room. He arrived at WSU weighing 235 pounds and much like his untapped potential on the basketball court, Rosenboom sees the same for Bilau in the weight room. “He works extremely hard and is very motivated,” Rosenboom said. “Once he gets healthier, I truly believe that the sky is the limit for him.” Rosenboom was delighted when Bilau said he was staying in Wichita for the next three weeks to catch up.
Jamarius Burton, 6-4 sophomore guard
Burton played last season at as much as 210 pounds and got to 212 pounds in June, but currently weighs 203. He’s set a target at playing this coming season at a “strong and lean” 195 pounds and Rosenboom says Burton is stronger than ever. He also complimented Burton on adjusting his diet, which has improved his quickness and athleticism. Burton decided to stay in Wichita before school started and plans on meeting with Rosenboom twice a day to reach his goal of playing between 195-198 pounds this season.
Dexter Dennis, 6-5 sophomore guard
Dennis wants to add at least seven pounds of muscle and play this coming season anywhere between 212-215 pounds. Dennis currently weighs 204 pounds, but Rosenboom is optimistic he will reach his target goal by November. The coach says Dennis has improved his strength this summer and is looking more springy off his non-dominant leg.
Jaime Echenique, 6-11 senior center
Echenique played the majority of last season with a partially torn plantar fascia and spent this summer allowing the injury to completely heal. Despite not being able to run much this summer, Rosenboom has been thoroughly impressed with Echenique’s work ethic to improve his endurance this offseason. “We’re focusing on keeping a longer stride when he runs the court and working on getting in a deeper stance on defense,” Rosenboom said. “So far the results have been very good and once he’s able to run more, those will only get better and better.” Echenique has maintained his playing weight of 255 pounds.
Tyson Etienne, 6-1 freshman guard
Rosenboom made the bold proclamation at the start of the summer that Etienne is “physically as good as any player Coach Marshall has brought in.” Etienne arrived to WSU with a college-ready body weighing 198 pounds. He’s already dropped that down to 191 pounds this summer and has reached a weight he’s comfortable at. Rosenboom has been impressed by the freshman’s focus in the weight room and has worked to improve his flexibility and balance.
Noah Fernandes, 5-11 freshman guard
Fernandes is by far the smallest player on the roster at 152 pounds, but he has made a big impact in his time so far at WSU. He arrived in late June, which only gave him a month to spend with Rosenboom. But the coach said he made a strong impression from Day 1 and wants to add 25 pounds (to play at around 175 pounds) for this season. “He’s already up to 165 pounds and he doesn’t have any fat on him at all,” Rosenboom said. “I have little doubt that he’ll start the season around 175 pounds. He’s already gotten so much stronger and I’ve been impressed by his leadership capabilities.”
DeAntoni Gordon, 6-7 freshman forward
Adding weight to Gordon’s frame has proven trickier than Rosenboom originally anticipated. The freshman arrived at WSU weighing 200 pounds and spent most of June battling to add weight. It wasn’t for lack of effort; Rosenboom says Gordon has done what’s asked of him in the weight room. After the coach stressed the importance of eating breakfast more routinely and drinking more water, Gordon was able to add five pounds before leaving WSU. Rosenboom will continue to monitor his weight closely and still has the goal for Gordon to play around 220 pounds this season.
Asbjorn Midtgaard, 7-0 junior center
Midtgaard left early from summer workouts to return home to his native country of Denmark. After arriving at WSU at 282 pounds, Midtgaard slimmed down to 272 last season and he wants to play this upcoming season at 265. When he left for Denmark earlier this month, Midtgaard was 268. He has been conducting his own workouts and Rosenboom is confident he will come back to Wichita in August in better shape. “When he gets back, our biggest target areas will be his lateral quickness, vertical and conditioning,” Rosenboom said. “I have no doubt he’s going to get there.”
Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, 6-9 sophomore center
The biggest transformation project of the summer, Poor Bear-Chandler is down nearly 20 pounds since arriving to WSU last summer at 274 pounds. He’s currently weighing 257 and Rosenboom wants him to play this upcoming season at a “lean and mean” 250 pounds. The coach has been impressed by Poor Bear-Chandler’s improved focus this summer to his training. “He’s in so much better shape,” Rosenboom said. “He’s getting leaner, while his strength endurance is showing a big improvement.”
Grant Sherfield, 6-2 freshman guard
Sherfield arrived at WSU weighing 197 pounds and wanted to stay in that range, but Rosenboom wants him to carry the weight differently. That transformation process is off to a good start, Rosenboom says, but Sherfield is only about 60 percent of where he wants him to be eventually. The coach has been impressed by his strength for an incoming freshman, but his conditioning needs to improve. Rosenboom is pleased that Sherfield is returning to Wichita two weeks before classes start to put in extra work with Rosenboom.
Erik Stevenson, 6-3 sophomore guard
Stevenson’s first question to Rosenboom at the start of this summer was how to become a more explosive athlete. That wasn’t just talk. Rosenboom says no one has attacked summer workouts more than Stevenson, who has done extra cardio work every day and has improved his standing vertical by six inches this summer. He’s changed his eating habits and is already at his target weight of 200 pounds. Now Rosenboom wants to improve his strength.
Morris Udeze, 6-8 sophomore center
Udeze has been mostly cleared from the shoulder surgery he underwent in late February. That rehabilitation process limited what weight lifting Udeze could do throughout the summer, but Rosenboom says that didn’t put a damper on his work ethic. “Mo has been busting his tail all summer and gotten in better shape and he’s more athletic now,” Rosenboom said. “There are still some exercises he can’t do because of his shoulder, but he’s already back to doing around 80-85 percent of everything that we do.” After ballooning to as heavy as 277 pounds when he was injured, Udeze has cut his weight down to 250 this summer.
Trey Wade, 6-6 junior forward
In one summer with Rosenboom, Wade has already packed on nearly 10 pounds and is up to 217 pounds. Since WSU plans on using Wade as a small-ball power forward, Wade hopes to bulk up to 225. Rosenboom has been impressed with Wade’s commitment to his conditioning and flexibility work.