Wyoming center working on running technique
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Playing basketball and running go hand in hand, but it isn’t that simple for Jordan Naughton.
The Wyoming junior center knows how to run because he has played basketball for a good part of his life.
However, a back issue, coupled with working on his running technique, have limited his abilities to get healthy and be effective on the court.
“A lot of his issues are physical, and some of it, I do believe, is mental,” second-year UW coach Allen Edwards said. “I have seen progress, especially over the summer, with him understanding the basics on how to run. Even within practice, I’ve seen more of a will in trying to do it consistently.
“But it is still something that’s not going to be fixed overnight. It will be a process with him.”
There is more of an emphasis in running in Edwards’ up-tempo offense for every player. It is one thing for a 6-foot-2 guard to run up and down the floor compared to a 6-10, 235-pound post player like Naughton.
Throw in a sore back, and that makes the challenge even greater.
Work on Naughton’s running started this summer with UW men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach Rob Watsabaugh.
“We’ve worked on my posture, running form and flexibility so I can run without having to put strain on muscles that shouldn’t be doing the extra work,” Naughton told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle . “Getting the footwork down has probably been the biggest challenge. When you’re running, you don’t really focus on that, and that’s when problems occur.”
Naughton also has spent a lot of time in the training room, getting treatment on his back before and after workouts and practices.
Naughton started 26 of 37 games last season and averaged 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Three of his five double-digit scoring games came last season, and he made his first 12 shots over the first three games.
“The physical presence is still there, and he’s the best back-to-the-basket player we have in the program,” Edwards said. “At the end of the day, he can be one of the best centers in this league. But he’s a young kid who is still waiting for his body to develop.”
Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com