BOULDER – A new year, a new college campus.
Last year, the Nuggets held training camp at Creighton University, in Omaha, Neb. This year, drills are taking place at the University of Colorado, at the school’s still-new basketball practice facility. While Nuggets coach Michael Malone was thankful for a state-of-the-art venue that’s just shouting distance from Denver, CU coaches and players were also able to get something out of the Nuggets presence. Buffs coach Tad Boyle and some players watched the morning session.
“For coaches it’s great because you get a whole another perspective,” Boyle said. “You get a chance to watch another staff interact. I picked up two drills today that I’m going to steal. You just continue to learn as a coach. It’s great for our players, from the standpoint that they see how committed these guys are, how good they are, how hard they work, and what it takes to become a pro. That’s beneficial to them.”
Boyle and Malone haven’t interacted a ton in the last couple of years, but have a healthy respect for each other.
“I love what he’s doing,” said Boyle of Malone. “I love his defensive mindset. We think a lot alike, I can tell by watching his practices. I haven’t spent a lot of time with him, but I really respect what he’s doing. I love what he’s doing.”
Altitude training. The question of whether a team that plays at altitude should train at altitude was a part of the thought process in the Nuggets decision to hold training camp at CU, coach Michael Malone said.
“Creighton University (last year) was unbelievable,” Malone said. “Great facility, we loved it there. But the only problem about Creighton was we didn’t train at altitude. We play at altitude and guess, what? We’re training at altitude, which I think is important for our guys.”
Was it apparent after last year’s camp that they needed to train at altitude?
“It’s a tough conversation because the first year in Colorado Springs, which is significantly higher, we had guys dropping like flies,” Malone said. “So it kind of negated training camp because guys couldn’t practice. Last year was great…but obviously when we come back and play games are guys are (trying to breathe), feeling the altitude.”
Malone on first day. Malone liked the effort he saw out of his team in the morning session on Monday, but as his team flew around the court so did the basketball in the form of turnovers. “Our guys had to slow down a bit and understand playing with pace doesn’t mean playing reckless basketball,” Malone said. “We’ll get control of that, but it was a very good competitive practice, and our guys got after it.”
Christopher Dempsey: firstname.lastname@example.org or @chrisadempsey on Twitter.