PROVO — BYU basketball practices are fully underway and coach Dave Rose is encouraged with what he's seen. After just four practice sessions, Rose can readily see some improvements in his returning players and potential contributions from the newcomers.
Chief among those newcomers are junior college transfers Raul Delgado and Agustin Ambrosino — whose heads are understandably spinning as they adjust to Rose's system.
"The most important thing for us right now is to emphasize the positive plays that they make in practice," Rose said. "We'll go through a film session of 198 clips or so and try and find the positive plays they make … I think guys will catch on better that way and they're doing a lot of things right, but it's not at the pace I think they're capable of doing and that just takes time."
Delgado and Ambrosino are joining a team with a lot of returning experience who are leading some very aggressive practice sessions.
"The competitive part of our practices are probably as good as they've ever been," Rose said. "The first four days we've split the lineups up … and all the scrimmages and competitive drills have been really close."
Rose believes that collectively his team is a lot farther along — due to a lot of work in the offseason — from where they were at this stage last season.
EARLY INJURIES: Delgado seems recovered from a dislocated elbow he sustained just after arriving in Provo. He's fully participated in each practice session and has shown to be effective shooting from the perimeter.
Nate Austin suffered a deep thigh bruise during Saturday's practice and sat out on Tuesday as a result. His injury is not considered serious.
The most serious injury on the team belongs to swingman Stephen Rogers who is recovering from a knee injury which kept him out for most of last season.
"Stephen is actually doing a lot better," Rose said. "We got him on a pretty strenuous workout schedule that is not basketball related. Everything he's done in the last seven days has not caused swelling in his knee and that is the issue. When I talked to him yesterday he was really excited (about his progress)."
The plan is to introduce some basketball-related workouts for Rogers in about a week and continue to monitor how his knee responds.
BETTER FROM THE PERIMETER: Rose has liked how the team has shot from the perimeter through four days and believes that the team will see good improvements there this season. "I'm pleased with the way guys can shoot the ball," Rose said.
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