New NCAA legislation allows two hours of full-team skill instruction and six hours of strength and conditioning activities per week. In the past, NCAA rules prohibited coaches from working with their student-athletes in the summer.
"This couldn't have come at a better time for any other team in the country," said head coach Keno Davis about the new rules. "With so many new players, with a new staff, it was a really important time for us to develop the intensity we are going to need and install as many offensive and defensive principles as possible."
Full-team workouts for those enrolled in summer school began June 25 and were typically held twice per week, giving players an abbreviated look at how Coach Davis will run regular season practices.
"Looking back at day one, the ability to maintain intensity is where we improved the most," said Davis. "When you come in from high school, it's tough to play at this level for any sustained length of time. We are not there yet, but we have come quite a ways from where we started, and we need to continue to improve throughout the preseason."
The preseason workouts will continue in August as the team prepares for a series of exhibition games in the Bahamas, August 16-21.
The trip gives the Chippewas an additional 10 practice days which will likely be spread over an 11-day period beginning Sunday.
"This will be our mini-camp," said Davis. "We will often go with two-a-days, with a hard practice in the morning and a teaching and instruction time in the evening. Our mindset is to assume that our first exhibition game in the Bahamas is our first regular-season game. We want to see just how much we can put in and how good we can be at that point, knowing that when we come back for the fall semester we have an opportunity to refine and improve before the start of the season."