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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

November 4, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Tuesday update — Gant could start, Brockman ailing

Just a little over 48 hours until the Huskies take the floor in public for the first time this season for an exhibition game against Western Washington.
And UW coach Lorenzo Romar is still unsure of what his starting five will look like, in part due to a minor back injury suffered in Monday’s practice by senior forward Jon Brockman.
Brockman landed hard on his lower back when undercut while going for a rebound. He will likely be able to play Thursday but how much is uncertain. He said the back felt better today than it did yesterday, and he planned to tone it down in practice the next few days to facilitate the healing process.
“I’ll just take it easy today and then it will be on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
If Brockman can go, four of the five starters are set in Romar’s mind — Brockman, forward Quincy Pondexter and guards Isaiah Thomas and Justin Dentmon.
Romar said the other spot will likely go to either Darnell Gant or Matthew Bryan-Amaning. If Brockman can’t go, Romar said both could start.
The real revelation there is Gant. a 6-8 forward who redshirted last season, then was slowed at the beginning of practice while still recovering from off-season sports hernia surgery.
But Gant has come on quickly in practice the last week or so, and played particularly well in a closed scrimmage over the weekend against Wyoming.
“He’s just really playing with a purpose, with energy,” Romar said. Romar said Gant has been hitting the boards well and is also “showing a nice touch from 17 feet in.”
The same four starters plus Bryan-Amaning began the game against Wyoming.
While the frontcourt may be undergoing a little flux, the backcourt has been pretty stable throughout the fall with Thomas and Dentmon as the starters.
Romar said Venoy Overton will also figure heavily in the rotation but revealed today that the sophomore has been slowed of late by a sprained ankle, Overton said the injury happened last week and that he missed a couple of days of practice and is still feeling the effects of it a little bit.
He said he isn’t concerned at all about not being a starter.
“It doesn’t bother me,” he said, “I know I’m already in the rotation for playing time.”
Overton and Thomas are doing most of the ballhandling for UW with Dentmon playing primarily at two-guard. Thomas shifts over to the two when Overton comes in the game.
The team should be pretty healthy as Romar said all but Tyreese Breshers, still recovering from off-season shin surgery, should be available to play (barring whatever Brockman’s situation is by then).
Joe Wolfinger tweaked his knee early in the scrimmage and didn’t play much but is better now, Romar said. And Artem Wallace is progressing as hoped as he attempts to get back to 100 percent in his recovery from a knee injury last March.
Every player figures to get some significant time in Thursday’s exhibition. But Romar said he doesn’t expect to use more than 10 players regularly once the season begins Nov. 15 against Portland.
One player who has worked his way into that rotation is swingman Justin Holiday, who again earned praise from Romar as one of the most improved players. He again used the Michael Cooper comparison in assessing Holiday’s play. “He’s shooting the ball better but the big thing is that he’s just everywhere,” Romar said.



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