Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team to take advantage of rule change

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Southeast Missouri State coach Dickey Nutt talks with guard Marland Smith during a game last season at the Show Me Center. (Laura Simon)

Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt is excited about a new NCAA rule that gives him a chance to work with his players earlier than usual this year.

The rule allows Division I men's basketball teams eight hours a week, up to a maximum of eight weeks, to work out with players who are attending summer school. Squads can begin the workouts on the first day of summer classes, which is today at Southeast.

"It's great. What a great rule change," Nutt said. "We [coaches] were all in favor of it."

Teams are limited to a maximum of two hours per week of actual practice time on the court. The other six hours can be spent on areas like conditioning and weightlifting.

Division I men's coaches previously could not work with their players until the first days of the fall semester. The new rule applies only to Division I men's basketball and not women's hoops.

"It's exciting because we felt like we're helpless in the summer," Nutt said. "We couldn't even go into the weight room. We had to stay away from them."

Nutt said the new rule should be especially beneficial for the Redhawks since the majority of their players are enrolled in summer school.

"Last year for the first time we were able to keep everybody here in the summer, and that's something we're going to do every year," Nutt said. "I think it's very important."

Nutt said that since Southeast has a veteran team with numerous returning players, he knows the Redhawks' basic weaknesses and what they need to work on.

"The biggest thing, we'll target certain areas. We'll look at our weaknesses," Nutt said. "The good thing, most of our team is returning. We were able to evaluate, see what our weaknesses are.

"Ballhandling, shooting, defensive positioning -- we'll work on all those things. A lot of individual work."

Nutt believes the additional court time will prove beneficial for all his players.

"The most important thing, I'm able to be around our players and able to work with them," he said. "The new players, it's helping them develop, and a young guy like [sophomore forward] Nino Johnson, he still has a lot of areas he needs work in, and then you add our veterans. It's just a really good thing. We're looking forward to it."

Nutt said the two hours per week of on-court time will be spread out over two days. Most other days he said the players compete on their own in various pickup games.

"Summer is very important, especially to get our new guys involved," Nutt said. "They take two classes without a lot of pressure, they have study hall every day, they work out. It gives them a nice head start."

Nutt said it helps the Redhawks that they have access to the Student Recreation Center in addition to the Show Me Center, which isn't always available.

"We have great facilities. I can't say enough about how supportive the Rec Center is whenever we need a court," Nutt said. "Mike Buck and his staff always bend over backward to make sure we're taken care of. Believe me, there are a lot of places where it's not that way."

Wilkerson gone

Nutt confirmed that shooting guard Telvin Wilkerson, who saw limited action as a true freshman in 2011-12, no longer is in the program.

It recently had been reported that Wilkerson almost certainly would not return. He plans to transfer to a junior college to get more playing time.

"Telvin asked for his release. I wish him well," Nutt said. "I don't want to lose anybody, but I want people that want to be here."

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