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MU basketball brings a fresh mindset into the first day of practice

COLUMBIA, Mo (KMIZ)

It has been months since Mizzou basketball was at an empty Bridgestone Arena in the wake of a canceled SEC Tournament. Now, on Wednesday, the team started its first practice of the new season.

After the first day, the team said they are excited about where they are at right now.

"I feel good about our team. I like our talent. I like our experience so far, because I think guys have worked hard, even through COVID," Martin said.

The head coach said he has learned a lot about what's important during COVID-19, but it also gave him an opportunity to learn and reflect about who he was as a head coach.

"For me, with COVID, we looked at statistical numbers, all those numbers, teams that I've had in the past, just ups and downs, all the numbers you can think of and then you say to yourself why do you do certain things," he said. "Because you've been doing them for so many years or the guy you played for did that or the guy you coached under did that, but does it help your team? Is it beneficial to today's game?"

He said throughout the offseason he had opportunities to participate in coaching clinics and speak with NBA teams about how his team can be better.

"You go to clinics, you speak at coaching clinics, but this is probably the first time that you consistently had a chance to talk, talk to teams, build relationships and see it through," Martin said.

However, Martin was not the only member of the program to do some personal grow during the offseason. Many players added that they learned more about themselves and their team.

"We've learned that we're resilient," senior guard Dru Smith said. "I think it kind of brought us together a little bit more."

You can watch the full interview with Dru Smith in the video player below.

Meanwhile, senior forward Jeremiah Tilmon feels like he is mentally more prepared for this season.

"My mind has gotten a lot stronger, that's been the biggest thing for me. I've been staying focused and staying disciplined, off the court that's been a big thing for me and it's just leading over to the floor," he said.

You can watch the full interview with Jeremiah Tilmon in the video player below.

The team emphasized that it is excited to be back on the court with this opportunity, no matter what lies ahead.

We also spoke with senior guard Mark Smith and junior guard Xavier Pinson. You can watch those interviews in the video player below.

College Sports / Mizzou Men's Basketball / Mizzou Tigers
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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie reports on both news and sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.

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