Monday, October 8, 2007

The madness begins

The JSU basketball team begins practice Friday when the volleyball team clears the floor in Pete Mathews Coliseum, but it won’t have Erik Adams at the start.

The 6-5 senior guard who gives the Gamecocks perhaps the strongest 3-4-5 combo in the OVC (with Amadou Mbodji and Dorien Brown), sprained his left ankle Friday and arrived for team pictures Monday with crutches and a wrap. He’s likely to be out for several weeks.

“If he’s gonna be injured, be injured now,” Gamecocks coach Mike LaPlante said. “You just want him to get back out there. He’ll be back.”

Adams averaged 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds last year, but came on strong in the final 10 games of the season. His absence will give players like Erwin Staten, Oxford’s Jeremy Bynum, Nick Murphy a chance to show out.

“It’ll be a good opportunity for other guys to get more time, basically all of our 3s and 2s,” LaPlante said. “We could look to go big, but I think it’ll be more a perimeter thing”

LaPlante anticipates his team will be picked somewhere between sixth and eighth when the OVC announces the preseason poll at its media day Wednesday in Nashville.

The JSU women’s team opens its practice Friday at 7 p.m. in the Annex.

Second-year coach Becky Geyer has virtually an entire new roster and can’t wait to get started.

“We’re just looking forward to really getting a full practice in and not just getting started and your half-hour is over,” Geyer said, referring to the individual workouts that precede official practice. “It’s a puzzle and each player brings a different piece to the table. I think as a whole something very special is going to happen.”

Because of the influx of newcomers, Geyer estimated the conference coaches and publicists will have her Gamecocks 10th in their preseason poll.

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