The Tulsa 66ers began training camp with five returning players from last season’s squad—Jerome Dyson, Marcus Lewis, Dante Milligan, Ryan Reid and Billy Rush.

Of those five, only Dyson, Lewis and Reid played the entire season. Milligan and Rush were added to the 66ers roster late in the season on April 12.

Reid, now in his second year suiting up for the Tulsa 66ers, doesn’t think the team will miss a beat despite all the new faces.

“It is a whole different team than last year,” Reid said. “We only have three guys that played all of last season, but that is not a bad thing at all. The new guys have come in here with great attitudes and have been ready to work. They have great enthusiasm about the game. I see a lot of guys playing big roles for us this year.”

Reid said the returning players have taken a leadership role to set good examples for the rookies.

“We have to be the leaders because we have been here and experienced all this before,” he said. “We have to set the tempo in practice. We are trying to show the new guys the ropes, show them how we do things in Tulsa. We go full-speed, give great effort and listen to the coaching staff.”

The Florida State graduate stressed his commitment to improve his own game. He also recognizes what a difference a year makes after a season with the 66ers.

“I have been working on my shot a lot, and that is going to take time,” Reid said. “I am getting there. I am getting into a lot better shape. Last year during training camp, I got winded a lot. This year, I feel a lot better. I definitely think I am progressing.”

Reid also points to his familiarity with the Tulsa coaching staff as a difference-maker this season.

“It has been great because I feel so comfortable,” he said. “I can take them aside and talk to them about anything. They are always willing to listen and they have my trust. They will also get on you if they feel you can do better, and I like that a lot. They are trying to make us better.”

As for the emphasis so far in training camp, Reid said it is all about defense from head coach Nate Tibbetts and assistant Dale Osbourne.

“Everything we do is defense, defense. That is their main goal is to have us play great defense. We have guys that are willing to step up on that end of the floor. We have bigs that can even challenge guards. We have to get stops, that is what we are all about.”