The T-Wolves traveled to Mankato to open their training camp
The Minnesota Timberwolves have a lot of new faces on their roster this upcoming season.
The team went through a massive culture change in which they are hoping to remove the bad history of what used to resemble the Wolves. That started with the hiring of many new staff members and making Ryan Saunders the full-time head coach.
Minnesota went out and signed a variety of coaches with a lot of diversity and that’s played a big role in how they do day-to-day basics. One aspect of having a lot of younger coaches or people that can run up and down the floor, is it allows the team to keep pace in practice.
Saunders said, “It’s very beneficial, I mean that’s of one of things with our staff, is that we have a lot of guys with you know professional experience, bleacher experience, and then guys who you know still are able to get out there with them.”
Saunders explained further, saying, “We don’t have to stop and teach because we want to keep pace to everything.”
With a lot of new players, getting every minute of practice in is important, especially in the Western Conference.
One of the newcomers was forward Jake Layman. Layman spent four years at Maryland and will be entering his fourth season in the NBA.
A strength of his is shooting and cutting, with his cutting ability being a main highlight Layman discussed and something Saunders wants from his other players.
“I think that’s just part of my game, the cutting off the ball. I think we have some great passers here, who can find me on those cuts and so far, it’s been working out really well.”
The other two players to speak were Josh Okogie and the newly drafted Jarrett Culver, both of whom discussed the art of cutting and the importance to use it this season.
After being asked if there will be more opportunities to cut, Okogie said, “Yeah for sure, I mean the way were playing is just reading what the defense gives us.”
Okogie expanded further on Layman’s cutting ability, “Jake cuts every time and yeah he’s got a lot of easy buckets off that.”
Minnesota will be looking to use Karl-Anthony Towns more in the passing game and utilizing the wings to cut and Culver is one of those players who executes cutting well.
He explained, “I’ve played off of players and being able to play off of KAT and when he facilitates, to be able to cut off of him and you know help him out and create space for him, I feel like I do a good job of that.”
Coming down to Mankato is a new experience for a lot of these players and coaches. Doing these trips to either the Bahamas or just down the road to Mankato allowed the team to practice and create chemistry both on and off the court.
Header photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.