Gregg Marshall held nothing back in his first summer practice with the 2014-15 Shockers, setting an immediate tone for the expectations at Wichita State, which is coming off its historic 35-1 season.
New recruits looked on while the coaching staff addressed the team. Nodding along with the intense stream of instruction, they showed their belief that hard work pays off, perhaps in Koch Arena more than anywhere else in the country.
On Tuesday, one of the recruits hanging on those battle-tested words of Wichita State's masterminds was Rauno Nurger. Just hours before the practice, Nurger officially became a Shocker after being granted a release from Ole Miss, where he committed out of Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas last Fall.
Nurger, at 6'10" and 240-pounds, signed on with the Rebels in large part because of his familiarity with former Ole Miss assistant Sergio Rouco. But when Rouco left Ole Miss to join South Florida's staff, Nurger asked to be released from Andy Kennedy's program in Oxford.
Nurger joins former Sunrise Christian teammate Zach Brown at Wichita State and the two will both be freshmen in the upcoming season.
"They look good," Marshall said Tuesday after seeing Nurger and Brown practice. "We've just got to get them all settled and comfortable with what we're doing. Kyle (Lindsted) obviously does a great job. So many great players come out of that program now and they're ready to play at this level when they come out."
Nurger used his 6'10" frame to grab strong rebounds and moved well during drills Tuesday. But like any of the new Shockers, he will battle for playing time this summer.
"We went pretty hard today for the hour we went and now these guys will just have to slow down, gather themselves and play as passionately and tough as they can," said Marshall.