As training camp begins, Rockets look to set tone, establish culture

LAKE CHARLES, La. – One look at the majority of players on the Legacy Center court at McNeese State University, and you might believe they were in their junior or senior years of college and preparing for the upcoming season of NCAA basketball.

Yet, these young men were not preparing for battle in the Southland Conference; they were preparing for their first preseason game on Sunday versus the San Antonio Spurs.

The Houston Rockets, who have 10 players on their roster at 22 years old or younger, held their first day of training camp in Lake Charles. According to head coach Stephen Silas, it was a very successful day.

“I’ve been around a lot of Day 1s in my 20-whatever year career, and this is the best one I’ve ever seen,” Silas said in a team huddle.

Silas, who is entering his third year as the Rockets’ head coach, was also impressed with how his team responded to him and his staff regarding different aspects of practice.

“Setting a tone, establishing a culture, and a lot of teaching,” Silas said when asked about the first day of camp. “It was about having a great first day and having that lead to a great second day. It is going to be a day-by-day thing for us, and we finished Day 1.”

Rookie guard TyTy Washington was happy to get on the court with the players he will compete with this season after playing in the NBA summer league in Las Vegas just two months ago.

“It was good, I liked it,” Washington told reporters. “It is a dream come true for me. It is our first real practice. I am really excited to be with the whole team, grinding and going out there competing. After we broke practice down and finished our conditioning test, I was like ‘It is about that time.’”

Washington also emphasized how playing against rookies and veterans this summer helped him prepare for his first day of camp.

“It helped a whole bunch,” Washington said. “Summer league built my confidence going through the whole process and leading up to this point. I feel really comfortable where I am at and how I am doing.”

The Rockets will practice again on Wednesday in Lake Charles.

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire