Sept. 3, 2010
The start of classes on campus has also brought about the start of fall workouts, as the men's basketball program continues its march toward the 2010-11 season.
What's noticeably absent from the efforts this season is the swirl of change throughout the program. Year two of the Sean Miller era is more focused and familiar. And that familiarity makes a huge difference as the Cats move forward.
"This is much more about everybody coming back a year older, more ready and with a greater understanding of all that we do and better prepared to be successful," said Miller.
Nowhere is that understanding better displayed than with the team's strength and conditioning efforts.
Under the direction of Chris Rounds, UA's associate director of performance enhancement, the Cats continue to build themselves into better basketball shape one repetition at a time.
Over the last 16 months, Arizona players cumulatively have gained more than 130 pounds of muscle, while losing more than 77 pounds of fat.
Additionally, the lean body mass (LBM) - the weight of everything in your body except fat - of every player has increased his lean body mass since working out under Rounds' watchful eye.
Here is a quick look at the transformation of four Cats with all measurements taken since July 2009:
Junior guard Kyle Fogg has seen his weight increase from 179 pounds to its current 185. In that same span his body fat percentage has dropped from 7.3 to 5.7 while his LBM has increased by 7.6 pounds.
Sophomore guard Lamont Jones' body weight has dropped just three pounds, but his body fat percentage has dropped from 11.7 to 6.9 while his LBM has increased by 6.5 pounds.
Sophomore center Kyryl Natyazhko has dropped a total of six pounds of body weight, but his body fat percentage has dropped by 5.4 percentage points while his LBM has risen by nearly 10 pounds.
Sophomore forward Derrick Williams' body weight has risen from 228 to 244 pounds, while his body fat percentage has decreased 2.3 percent to 11.9 percent. The 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year has seen his LBM increase by 19.4 pounds.
Each of these players has accomplished a noticeable goal: cutting fat and adding muscle. Most importantly, the players have added functional strength, i.e. the kind of strength that helps athletes do what they do best. In this case, that's an improved ability to run, jump, rebound and defend.
That's why the LBM measure is a key in Rounds' eye.
"I really pay attention to lean body mass," said Rounds. "Obviously, we have these guys working our all year, so you know the strength gains will be functional. The goal is to keep the LBM numbers moving in a positive and consistent direction."
None of these numbers is lost on Coach Miller, who sees much-needed progress in the results.
"When players get stronger in the right way, a lot of the times guys become better basketball players," Miller said. "Losing weight, lowering body fat and gaining strength are things our team needs, and we've seen some huge strides so far over the summer."