St. Louis University had four players sitting on the end of the bench in black sweats, unable to play, during its game against Oregon State last Saturday and three of them were guards.
The ranks have been thinned by injuries, but coach Travis Ford is hoping to regain at least one player for Sunday’s game at No. 24 Houston.
Tramaine Isabell Jr., Dion Wiley and Ingvi Gudmundsson sat out the win. Based on Thursday’s practice, it appeared that Isabell is the most likely to return, although nothing has been determined. Wiley was the only one not participating in any elements of practice.
“We’ve still got to get Dion back and we’ve got a lot of nagging injuries but nothing we’re going to make excuses about,” Ford said. “Tramaine’s gotten better, but you’ve always got to be cautious when you’re dealing with hamstrings. We’re hoping Tramaine can play this game.”
Isabell’s hamstring is an injury that dates back to the preseason, when he missed quite a bit of practice. Wiley suffered a thigh bruise in the win over Butler. And Gudmundsson, who has played in only one game, had his appendix removed two weeks ago.
With all of them out against Oregon State, Ford gave freshman Demarius Jacobs extensive minutes in the first half. Despite foul trouble he stayed in the game until picking up his fourth late in the first half because Jordan Goodwin had two. And Fred Thatch ended up playing a career-high 37 minutes.
“Last game we were concerned,” Ford said. “Demarius got four fouls but it was good experience for those guys to get major minutes in a big-time game in pressure situations.”
Even if he is cleared for game action, Gudmundsson doesn’t figure to play a role Sunday. Wiley said Thursday his leg was improving but wasn’t ready to practice.
“Dion is getting better but we don’t have a timetable on it at all,” Ford said. “Dion could be ready for Sunday, I don’t know. Ingvi was released to do some things (Thursday) but not full contact.”