I would like to think I’m in shape. I try to work out five times a week, I played two varsity sports in high school and I eat relatively healthy. Since coming to Illinois State and making friends with some of the athletes, I’ve always wondered how they stay in such tip-top shape.
The Vidette decided to reach out to a few teams, and luckily, ISU men’s basketball coach Dan Muller was willing to show us his moves and take the sports editors on in one-on-one basketball.
In high school, I was on the starting lineup in basketball for three years. I should also point out that my high school had a total of about 250 students and all sports were no-cut. So, yes, I did have a starting spot my sophomore year, but we also won a total of four games that same year.
My co-editor, Josh Tolentino, is also in decent shape. He works out four times a week and does a few extra miles each day with his German shepherd, Cash. He also played basketball at the College of DuPage for a year before transferring to ISU, so his skills topped mine a little.
When we took to Doug Collins Court Wednesday morning, I was nervous to say the least. I was a solid 11 inches shorter than Muller, so even interviewing him is slightly intimidating.
Muller came down the stairs of Redbird Arena and Tolentino asked if he was ready. Muller said he hadn’t touched a ball all day, even though there was a shoot around that morning, so he needed to warm up. The first three shots Muller threw up seemed to be as natural as breathing to him.
“It’s what I do for a living,” Muller said.
Although Muller is twice as old as I am, he easily destroyed me. Between the two games of one-on-one, he only worked up a slight sweat and seemed like he could have kept going if he wanted to.
So, we decided to figure out what keeps Muller on his toes.
“The first thing I try to do is eat right,” Muller said. “I watch when and what I’m eating. I run upper-bowls, where you go up top (of Redbird Arena) and run up and down the stairs in the arena.”
During the basketball season, Muller usually limits his workouts to game days and one extra day per week.
“Every game day I try and get one (upper bowl) in,” Muller said. “I try to lift weights every game day and another once or twice per week.” On the off-season, Muller picks up his workouts to five days a week and changes his routine to keep things interesting.
“The off-season, I’ll do whatever — ride a bike, elliptical,” Muller said. “I try to mix it up so I don’t get bored.”
Although Muller’s skills were evident when I played against him, he doesn’t bring them out too often with the team.
“We have one drill we do, where it’s a one-on-one game, and the coaches will go against the players about twice a year,” Muller said. “Now, that’s literally one possession offense and one possession defense. So, we’ll jump in every once in a while, but I’m not trying to get hurt.”
As the season nears its close, staying in shape and being able to keep up with the opposing team is vital. Muller said the whole team is in high physical condition, but two players stand above the rest.
“This time of the year, everyone is in really good shape,” Muller said. “But Tony Wills [and] Paris Lee are, by far, from summer through the year [...] our best in-shape guys. Not only are they well-conditioned athletes, but they’re two of our hardest workers.”