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Silas enduring rigorous offseason routine

Huskies guard working out with prestigious trainer

Ah, the afternoon nap, a staple for the routine for many college students.

For the past couple of weeks, Northern Illinois guard Xavier Silas has been all about the afternoon snooze.

After describing his training regiment this summer, it's a wonder he's able to get out of bed at all.

Silas has been training in San Francisco under trainer Frank Matrisciano, whose client list this year includes Oklahoma forward and likely No. 1 NBA Draft pick Blake Griffin.

When Silas is not doing strength and conditioning drills, the NIU guard is learning basketball under former San Antonio Spurs and Seattle SuperSonics coach Bob Hill, who has known Silas for a few years and invited him to San Francisco. When he's not doing that, Silas said "my afternoon usually includes a nap."

"I spoke with him [Wednesday] and he was about to take a nap," NIU coach Ricardo Patton said. "It was early in the afternoon in San Francisco and it was night-night for him. But he's excited to go through the regiment."

Silas' weekly routine goes something like this:

Every morning but Thursday and Sunday, it's a few hours of intense basketball drills and scrimmages. The afternoons include running up hills, stairs and spending hours doing drills on beaches, sometimes while carrying sand bags or medicine balls.

"It's all sand. Sand doesn't move so you have to push off with all of your muscles with every step," Silas said. "It's not like wood or concrete where you can just bounce off."

Wednesday and Saturday includes another round of basketball at night.

Silas said he wants to absorb all he can from the basketball training, while his goal for the strength and conditioning is "just not to stop."

One of his main goals he wants to bring home from this summer stemmed from watching Griffin become one of college basketball's best players this past season. Griffin previously has credited this training program as a reason why he was able to elevate his profile on the national scene.

"It's a lot of explosion work," Silas said. "I saw Blake last year just explode on guys. I want to be more explosive. I have noticed a difference. After the first week, we played and I just exploded on a guy and finished on him."

As for any match-up against Griffin, there was one before Blake and his brother Taylor departed.

"I switched off on him and just tried to make him miss," Silas said. "He's a beast."

Silas said his training in San Francisco has two sessions, with the first five-week session going on right now. Then he has a two-week break and will return in July for another five-week session that runs through the middle of August.

Patton said NIU junior center Sean Kowal likely will join Silas for the second session and the Huskies' coach has a few expectations of Silas when he returns to DeKalb for school.

"The biggest thing that I expect is, and that we've talked about, is him sharing that experience with his teammates and hopefully creating an attitude amongst the team of what it really takes to be successful and to have a chance to play at the next level," Patton said.

After sitting out a year per NCAA transfer rules after coming from Colorado, Silas is just happy to be playing again.

"Being able to play every morning, it feels good to be out there," Silas said. "I feel like I'm not wasting my summer."

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