With vocal leader and the team's best player Kwamain Mitchell out for the 2010-11 season, it was up to Chicago, Ill. native Mike McCall Jr. to step in and carry the load at the point guard position as a freshman.
Now a junior with an NCAA Tournament berth under his belt, McCall Jr. feels as though his Saint Louis University Billikens' squad is primed for yet another successful year.
In the offseason last year, the Bills took a summer trip up north to Canada to face off against several opponents and get in some live game repetition and team bonding. Without such a trip on deck, he has been finding ways to hone his skills in preparation for the new-look Atlantic 10.
"I've been lifting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays," he told BillikenReport.com. "Also, I play open gym Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I get in running and conditioning on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I've been doing work individually, too. Working on getting myself open for shots, and just a lot of shooting and ball handling."
As an upperclassman, McCall Jr. has also been trying to find ways to get his teammates involved in workouts. A recent late night gym session aptly-termed the "Midnight Club" saw the majority of the Billikens' team in the Chaifetz Arena practice gym well past sundown.
"It was just something small for the day," he said. "It was one of those things that we put together as teammates. It might be [something we keep doing], but I'm not sure."
Did you enjoy this? Part II of the interview with McCall Jr. will run on Monday evening and will touch on his feelings about the expanded Atlantic 10 Conference, his expectations for the upcoming season, his thoughts on the incoming freshmen, and more. SUBSCRIBE to BillikenReport.com today! Part II will only be available to subscribers, so sign up today for more premium content and access to the BillikenReport.com message board!