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Practice at the Pandemic: Cowboy basketball adjusting to the new normal

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Cowboy Basketball First Official Practice

Image Taken At Cowboy Basketball First Official Practice, Gallagher-Iba Arena, Wednesday, October 14, 2020, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. Courtney Bay/OSU Athletics

COVID-19 has impacted every sport and person differently, but basketball practice has just started, and Oklahoma State is still adjusting to practicing during a pandemic.

When the players came back to campus to begin offseason workouts, the only thing that was the same was the sport.

It was still basketball, but everything else was different.

Sophomore forward Keylan Boone was in the program before the pandemic and now has had to adjust to the changes in the program.

“It's very different,” Boone said. “It's completely something I'm not used to, but we try not to think that it's something different. It's still practice. At first, we got up here for the summer and we had to adapt to wearing masks in lifts, in shooting groups and just little workouts. Then we just kept wearing masks and understanding that it's still going to be practice no matter if we have something over our face.”

Away from the pandmeic, a lot of new faces have made their way to OSU and are preparing to make their debut in Stillwater, but as for now, they are still focused on learning new concepts and adapting to the next level of competition.

“No great revelations really,” coach Mike Boynton said. “It's kind of a status quo. We're introducing a lot of new concepts, relying on our older guys to set the tone for our younger guys. This year, two of the things that kind of stood out, we don't have an urgency on the rebounding side of things and then trying to figure out how we're going to defend the post. Those are really the only things that have really, really come out consistently in the first week or so.”

Kalib Boone got to see a lot of minutes at the end of last season after impressing coaches. Boone will see even more time this season, being the Cowboys most experienced center with Yor anei transferring from the program.

His new role on the team brings more emphasis on practice because centers in the Big 12 are not a joke and will be tough to defend and stop when the season rolls around.

“This offseason has really been attention to detail,” Kailb Boone said. “More like trying to be a perfectionist, caring even more about the little things compared to last year. Last year, I was just trying to take it all in and learn how to do it. Now I'm learning how to perfect it, that's in the weight room with lifting everyday, that's one the court in getting my shots up.

“It's really just me trying to perfect my craft everyday, and it's more of a mindset thing for my second year in college. That's where I feel like this year is more of a mindset thing.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com