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Practice Notebook: Hustle Drills, Flying, Fortnite



After what feels like forever, the Cowboys’ journey to Europe finally begins Saturday. Mike Boynton’s squad held another practice Wednesday, and PFB was there to take a couple notes.

Anei’s Journey Through a Rigorous Hustle Drill

Yor Anei was getting put through it.

In Wednesday’s practice, Mike Boynton had his team do a hustle drill. The objective: slide over from a help position and take a charge (from Boynton). Then, get up within three seconds while Boynton would roll a ball down the floor, where the player then had to dive on it.

In Anei’s first attempt Wednesday, he didn’t make it into the charge position in time. Boynton trucked Anei, threw the ball in the air and yelled, “block.”

Anei got back to his feet for Round 2. This time, he made it in position to draw the charge, but the 6-foot-10 freshman struggled to get back to his feet. Once he got up, the ball Boynton rolled was already past half court. Anei’s teammates encouraged him to get to the ball before it went out of bounds on the other side of Eddie Sutton Court. Anei chased the ball the length of the floor and dove on it right before it got to the end line, but in the process he couldn’t gain ahold of the ball, and it slide through his hands and out of bounds.

Round 3: Boynton drove toward Anei but stopped right at his feet. Anei, anticipating the contact that never came, fell. The crowd of a few hundred people watching the practice in Gallager-Iba Arena shared a chuckle.

Anei got into position once more. He slid over and took the charge. His teammates helped him to his feet (as they did with everyone), and Anei chased the ball near the logo on Eddie Sutton Court, dove on it and finally, the drill was over. The crowd clapped as Anei’s teammates met him at half court to congratulate him.

“Part of it is, just the execution of the action itself,” Boynton said. “Multiple efforts. You come over to take a charge, sometimes the official may or may not call it. You gotta get up and be ready to play the next play.

“You could tell at the end, Yor just kinda wanted to give in. He was ready for it to be over. That’s the worst thing for me to see because I’m going to continue to push the envelope and see if he can dig a little bit deeper, give us a little more effort.”

11 Hours Over the Atlantic

Despite having already played a year of college basketball, Michael Weathers has only flown twice. That’ll change soon when he and the Cowboys cross the Atlantic for Italy on Saturday.

The first time was when Weathers, then with Miami (Ohio), went to Florida to play UCF (the Redhawks bussed everywhere else). Weathers’ second flight was to Stillwater for his visit.

“I didn’t sleep last night because we’re days away,” Weathers said. “I’m trying to stay up as long as I can, so I can sleep on the 11-hour flight.

“Ehh, 11-hour flight, something new to me. Flying has just always been scary in my mind. I always have a fear of flying. I was scared out of my mind the whole time (on his first flight), so this will be a fun experience.”

Boynton, a flight expert at this point, plans to spend his flight reading. He said he has four or five books he’ll take including Bob Goff’s “Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World.”

Boynton’s Run-Ins with Fortnite

Mike Boynton doesn’t know who Ninja is.

For those who relate to Boynton in this, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is an incredibly popular streamer of a video game called Fortnite, where he makes a reported $350,000 a month from Twitch subscriptions alone.

“People pay to watch him play?” Boynton said. “A video game? Like this guy makes a living playing a video game? Good for him. What a world we live in.”

Boynton knows of the game because members of his team play it, and he said the game also gets brought up a lot in recruiting.

“I probably need to have at least some knowledge because every kid that I talk to, in terms of recruiting, that’s one of the first things they go to,” Boynton said. “It’s ‘I’m playing Fortnite with my buddies online.’”

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