It's been an uphill battle in the pre-season for Brooks Thompson and his squad. They've seen more than their fair share of injuries thus far.
Most notably has been Senior Forward Jeromie Hill
, who is returning from a lingering knee injury. Although Hill has not participated in any of the practices, InsideRunnerSports has learned that Hill is expected to return by the season opener vs Northern Arizona on November 9.
Hill could see action as early as next week's exhibition vs Southeastern Oklahoma State, but the staff does not want to rush him back.
Transfer Keon Lewis and Freshman Luke Wilshire have also missed time with injuries. With signee Larry Lewis being ineligible this season, the ‘Runners have literally had difficulty having enough players to practice at times, so much so that they have added two new walk on players.
But as the season starts to crank up, ‘Runners who are healthy are on the floor working to prepare. Forward Jordan Sims
and Edrico McGregor
have shown the on the court leadership you expect from Seniors. Both players have excelled in multiple work outs.
There is somewhat a surprise in the front court as Senior walk on Devon Agusi has been running point guard with the first team. In fact, Agusi has looked comfortable in the offense at times. We've also seen Sophomore James Williams at the shooting guard position play well and also run with the first team.
Juco big man Kaj Sherman also seems to be acclimated to UTSA
's system as he's been rotating in an out with the other bigs on the first team.
Nothing, however is set in stone. Look for Thompson to tweak the lineup and rotations as the season begins.
Following practice we went one on one with Thompson. Here is our conversation:
On this week's practices:
"We're still banged up, we had to cancel one practice this week. But today we got better. I feel like our guys are working hard and are starting to get better. There's light at the end of the tunnel."
On who will start at point guard:
"I don't know yet. Right now we'd start Devon (Agusi). We'll see what Keon (Lewis) can do when he gets back. We'll see what Hyjii (Thomas) can do in a backup role. But right now, we'd go with Devon."
How difficult it's been without Jeromie Hill
"We all know how good of a player Jeromie is. But we just have to get him healthy. It's tough to watch him over there. We're hoping so but we can't rush him back. We've got to protect them. "
On some of the new players:
"James (Williams) is getting better every day. Kaj (Sherman) is a big strong guy that's doing a good job. I like what we're seeing. I like the fact that we're progressing every day."
On some of the returners being leaders:
"They have to. They're doing a good job doing that. Jordan (Sims) is one of the guys who has been here four years so he knows exactly what we expect. All of our returners are doing a good job."
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The 2013-14 season begins in just one week. InsideRunnerSports gives you the latest from basketball practice, including the status of injured Forward Jeromie Hill. We also look at who is seeing playing time at key positions.