7-foot center Aboulaye N'Doye practiced for the first time today (Wednesday) I'm doing a story on the big fella from Africa for over the weekend. I didn't really know what to expect but I came away from the short interview impressed. One non-basketball thing that I found interesting about him came when we were talking about what he had been doing the past year. It seems that we have been talking about this kid for two years and Wednesday was his first practice. He said that his studies in Africa really prepared him and were more demanding than what he has faced in the short time he has been at the university level in America. Some noteworthy hoops info on him – he has only been playing basketball for four years and his first game in an Aggie uniform will be his first time in organized basketball. ... Also, because of a complicated transfer process, the Aggies will have his services on the court for three years. ... As far as his physical ability, it has yet to be determine.
Here are some quotes from Aggie assistant Mick Durham, who works with the Aggie big men on how they will work him into the flow after getting a knee scope last month. I will say that when we were talking, Hamidu Rahman walked by and N'Doye clearly has a couple inches on Rahman, who is listed at 6-11, although Rahman has had the benefit of three years in the weight room.
"We had him in individuals for a handful of workout sessions but his knee kept swelling and he had to get his knee scoped. We have to start really basic with him. The downfall is missing six weeks of conditioning so we have to get him back in shape and then slowly work on his skills but we need another big body in practice."
Bodies in practice doesn't seem to be an issue. I've only been around the team for two seasons so far but I can't remember a time where there were so many able-bodies guys in the practice gym. I believe there were 15 guys there on Wednesday.
Finally, Menzies on the eligibility of BJ West and Bandja Sy
"There is a 50-50 chance that BJ could be done (Thursday). There is an outside chance that Bandja could be done the following day but not cleared. Just cleared to practice. Then we are going to start a waiver. You get to go until they finish the waiver."
Menzies on Justin Standley and Jacoby Patton
"It's nailed down that (Standley) is going to redshirt but its not nailed down if he will be able to practice or not. We are still working on trying to get him to be able to be a practice players. Jacoby is also in the same boat. We are trying to hopefully get him cleared so he can be a full practice player but he is going to redshirt either way."
Menzies on the first week of practice
"We have a lot of new kids who are trickling in with the process. They are picking it up very quickly based on their own basketball IQ as well as the returners helping them through things. It's easy to develop in a basketball system if you have a lot of people who know the system. Everybody goes out and runs the plays the right way. The first group goes out. They all know everything that we are doing already, we are going to tweak some things later. So the new guys get to sit back and watch their position go and run through it correctly first even if it's just repeating what that guy did, eventually they will understand the nuances of reading the defense and the options within it. But they get a chance, every rep, to see it done correctly before they actually step on the floor."