Rash of leg injuries hobbles TU program
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
1/02/13 at 3:52 AM
Three University of Tulsa forwards are hobbled by the same issue - stress-type injuries in their lower legs.
Redshirt freshman Brandon Swannegan missed seven games. Sophomore Rashad Smith averaged 14.5 points through the first four games of the season, but he has been sidelined for five weeks.
First-year freshman D'Andre Wright - who was rapidly developing into an impact performer in the paint - is benched indefinitely.
Wright played only seven minutes against Oral Roberts, did not play at all during last Saturday's loss to Florida State and probably won't be available for Wednesday's 7 p.m. home clash with Buffalo.
In hosting the Bulls (5-8) of the Mid-American Conference, the Golden Hurricane (7-6) plays at the Reynolds Center for the first time since Dec. 8. TU lost at Arkansas-Little Rock, lost at Creighton, rallied for a 72-68 triumph at Oral Roberts and lost 82-63 to Florida State in Sunrise, Fla.
TU President Steadman Upham has expressed concern about the rash of stress-type leg injuries sustained by Golden Hurricane players. At the end of the current season, the university is planning to replace the court in the Reynolds Center practice gym.
"I can't say with 100 percent certainty that (the court) is the culprit," Hurricane coach Danny Manning said, "but a softer surface would definitely help."
Florida State is a common opponent for the Hurricane and Buffalo. FSU routed the Bulls 95-68. Buffalo also has a health problem as junior point guard Jarod Oldham sustained a wrist injury last week. He may be inactive for two months.
The Buffalo roster includes Cameron Downing, a Tulsan and former Memorial High School star. Now a 6-foot-9, 260-pound junior forward for the Bulls, he averages 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 13 minutes a game.
Manning says he believes there was no specific injury event for Swannegan, Smith or Wright. Their injuries are attributed to basic wear-and-tear on the lower legs, possibly worsened by the firmness of the practice-gym floor.
"You can't control it," Manning said. "We'll practice as much as we can on the main arena floor."
The Smith injury has been a pronounced setback for TU. For several weeks, it has been expected that the 6-foot-7 Smith would rejoin the lineup for this Sunday's Conference USA opener at SMU. Now, Manning doesn't seem optimistic that Smith will be ready.
When asked about the possibility of accepting that 2012-13 could be classified as a redshirt season for Smith, Manning replied, "That's something we have discussed in staff meetings, but we haven't put a date on it yet."
|Ht. ||Pt.|| Reb.|
|F ||Regan ||6-8|| 10.8 ||5.2|
|F ||McCrea ||6-7|| 15.3 ||6.2|
|G|| Sebuharara|| 6-0 ||1.1|| 0.1|
|G|| Skeete|| 6-3 ||3.4 ||2.4|
|G ||Nuiriankh ||6-6 ||6.3 ||4.2|
|Ht. ||Pt.|| Reb.|
|F ||Black ||6-7 ||6.8 ||5.1|
|F ||King|| 6-7|| 4.0 ||2.4|
|G|| Haralson ||6-4|| 9.8 ||2.9|
|G ||Woodard ||6-4|| 13.6 ||6.0|
|G ||Harrison|| 6-3|| 5.2 ||3.6|
TU up next
7:05 p.m. Wednesday
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Original Print Headline: Rash of lower-leg injuries is plaguing TU forwards
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397