An unusual thing is happening in college gymnasiums where summer school is in session.
Basketball coaches are coaching their players.
"This is the first year that the NCAA has allowed us to step on the court and coach our players during the summer," Eastern Kentucky University Coach Jeff Neubauer said. "In the past, during the entire summer ... we've not been allowed to coach our guys at all."
Now, coaches can work with players on the court for two hours each week while summer classes are in session.
Neubauer has eight returning players on campus. Three times a week, the group gets together for a 40-minute workout.
The Colonels use the time for skill work and three-on-three action.
"My initial thought was to use the time for a lot of individual workouts, but one of the main goals of mine was to do things differently during the summer than what we do in our normal fall and spring individual workouts," Neubauer said. "So just to keep everything simple during these first two weeks, we've had the entire group."
Eric Stutz, Deverin Muff, Jeff Johnson, Ryan Parsons, Timmy Knipp, Robbie Stenzel, Orlando Williams and Willie Cruz are the eight players on campus.
Williams is a transfer from Miami (Ohio) and won't be eligible until late December. Cruz, recovering from an injury that kept him out of action all last season, is limited in his participation.
As part of his quest for a "different feel" from regular workouts, Neubauer said, "I'm also aware that less is more — so instead of really stressing our team out and trying to apply this role perfectly, I think the best thing is just to have them come in there and really love what they're doing."
"It's been a very positive week-and-a-half so far and the guys have been really positive with each other."
■ All eight players will have some role in Neubauer's camp for boys and girls ages 7-16, June 18-21 (9 a.m.-3 p.m.). Cost is $150 until June 1, $175 after. For camp details, contact assistant coach Ryan Wiersma at (859) 622-6679 or by email at Ryan.Wiersma@eku.edu.
■ EKU recently added junior-college transfers Tarius Johnson and Marcus Lewis. Johnson, an undersized (6-foot-5) power forward, comes from Three Rivers (Mo.). Lewis, a 6-4 small forward, moves in from South Suburban (Ill.).
Neubauer still hopes to add a perimeter player.