ALBANY — The Great Danes’ injury-plagued season rolls along this week, with UAlbany men’s basketball head coach Will Brown opting during Monday’s practice to “shut it down early” before more of his players could get hurt.
Besides redshirt junior Jojo Anderson who is out for the season and expected to have knee surgery Friday, and freshman Mitch Doherty who sat out Monday’s practice with an illness, several more Great Danes were restricted in some fashion as the team prepared for Wednesday’s game at UMBC. Most notably, sophomore Malachi de Sousa (ankle) was only able to practice for several minutes, freshman Trey Hutcheson (back) missed a large chunk of the practice and sophomore Antonio Rizzuto (ankle) missed the second half of the practice.
For Wednesday’s game at UMBC?
“I would think that Malachi’s doubtful, Trey is questionable and [Rizzuto] is probable,” Brown said.
Only five players have appeared in every game this season for UAlbany, which is 4-2 in America East Conference play and 11-10 overall. Hutcheson is one of those players, but Brown suggested after Saturday’s loss that he could rest Hutcheson this week if his condition doesn’t improve.
Meanwhile, de Sousa’s attempt Monday at returning to practice didn’t end well. Brown said the player “did about 10 minutes of stretching and jogging, and one or two drills,” and that was enough for the coach to see from the player who didn’t play in Saturday’s loss to Hartford.
“Just shut him down,” Brown said. “He’s not ready.”
UAlbany redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Healy was named the America East Conference’s player of the week for the first time in his career, the league announced Monday.
Healy also had seven rebounds in each game.
Last season, Healy was named the conference’s rookie of the week on three occasions.
Brown said his message to his players regarding Sunday’s helicopter crash that led to the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant was to embrace each moment.
“You need to live for today because tomorrow’s not guaranteed,” Brown said.
In all, nine people died in Sunday’s crash, including a 13-year-old daughter of Bryant.
“You just feel for their families,” Brown said.