Coach Herrion Provides Preseason Outlook

DURHAM, N.H. - Bill Herrion, head coach of the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team, continues his blog following the squad's trip to Canada, providing insight after the first week of individual workouts.

Keep up with your Wildcats, as Herrion continues to break down the team and provide an inside look at the team throughout the preseason. New Hampshire tips off its season Friday, Nov. 11 (7 p.m.) when the 'Cats host Suffolk University at Lundholm Gymnasium. 

Coach Herrion's blog entry...

Monday, Sept. 12

"I just figured I would try to keep this blog going and update everybody on where we're at after the first few weeks of school. Believe it or not, the feedback on the blog has been positive, so we'll try to keep it going.

After a very successful trip to Canada, we came back and started classes right away. We gave the guys the first week of school off so they could catch their breath, get some rest, and get acclimated to classes. As you well know, the college basketball season is very long, so it's like a marathon to these guys. We started our fall preseason workout program this past Monday, so it's safe to say, we're back at it. We tell our guys that everything we do now in the fall is going to help us win a championship in March. From now until the first official day of practice on Oct. 14, the NCAA gives us eight hours a week for basketball related activities. That includes individual workouts, weights, and conditioning, with no more than two of the eight hours involved with basketball. This past week we did two individual workouts with the perimeter and post players that lasted about 45-50 minutes each. Right now we can only work with no more than four players at a time. We are in the weight room three days a week and we condition twice a week.

What has really impressed me with this group so far with the trip to Canada and after the first week of individuals is we have a lot of guys that really like to work on their game and play. Our guys are in the gym all the time. We only get two hours a week with them in the gym, but we have a lot of guys that put a lot of their own time in working on their game. As a coach, that's really exciting to see. I hope it says how hungry this group is. I tell our players all the time: "you get out of this game what you put into it." I really believe this team's going to get a lot out of this game by March.

The workout groups have been, Alvin Abreu, Jordon Bronner, Ryan Herrion and Garrett Jones. Abreu has probably been one of the best workout guys I've coached in 21 years. When he comes in the gym, it's all business and that just feeds down to the other guys. The second group has been, Chandler Rhoads, Patrick Konan, Scott Morris and Tommy McDonnell.  The third group has been Brian Benson, Chris Matagrano, Jeron Trotman and Chris Pelcher. Ferg Myrick has been working about a half hour a day, three days a week with Coach Mohr. He is doing a great job with him and I think he's really close to getting back, definitely by the first day of practice. These next five weeks or so are a very important time for us to: 1) work on our games and skills 2) get physically stronger in the weight room and 3) get in basketball shape and condition so we're ready to go when Oct. 14 rolls around. As I said, the attitude and work ethic of this group has been really impressive. They seem to be on a mission that hopefully will pay off in March.

I know our schedule for 2011-12 just came out and there's no question it's very challenging. The positive is we have 15 home games this year. Trying to get home games at UNH and balancing the schedule home and away has been really tough. Outside of league play, I'd like to think the New England college basketball fans like our non-conference schedule. Because of travel costs, we're trying to keep everything in the non-conference close geographically. A lot of the old New England rivalries are games that I think as fans you like to see. We are at Boston College, Providence, Holy Cross, Brown, Fairfield and Sacred Heart. We have Dartmouth at home, Colgate, two bracket buster return games against Loyola and Marist, a home bracket buster game in February and a non-Division I contest versus Suffolk. So, all in all it's a very competitive schedule and as you well know it always comes down to conference play and three games in March to get to the NCAA tournament.

I just want to send our thoughts and prayers out to everybody who was affected by 9-11 on the tenth anniversary. It's unreal how quickly ten years have gone by and unfortunately it seems like it was just yesterday. Do you remember where you were when the tragedy happened? I was the head coach at East Carolina University, and our team was lifting weights that morning. I was in the weight room and everybody was huddled around a TV in the strength coaches' office. At first they thought a small commuter plane had hit one of the towers, then obviously the longer it went on we knew the tragedy that occurred that day. I remember driving up to New Jersey a few days after to go on a recruiting trip. My assistant Greg Herenda, who is now the head coach at UMass Lowell, and myself were visiting a player in Jersey City. After the visit that night, we went down to the Jersey side of the Hudson River, right across from Ground Zero, and you could still see the smoke rising from where the towers were. It was just an unbelievably surreal time in my life. So, on the anniversary of 9-11, let's keep everybody in our thoughts and prayers.

Last but not least, hope to see you this Friday, Sept. 16 for the Gerry Friel Memorial Golf Tournament at The Outlook Golf Course. Scott Weitzell, one of my assistants, has done a terrific job putting the tournament together in memory of Coach Friel. Coach Friel coached the Wildcats for 20 years and spent close to 30 years at UNH. Hopefully you can play, if not, sponsor a hole and help us out. Tired fingers again, so I've got to go. We'll be back in a few weeks. Go Cats!"
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