BURN THE HORSE
This year’s UALR Trojans should have a leg up on last year’s version.
All roster players are expected to be on campus when players officially report during the first week of July. This is quite a difference from last year when various reasons kept several players away during the summer months.
This time is important because players are able to work on strength and conditioning with Coach John Barron. Last year’s summer wasn’t as productive due to a number of issues. To name a few, Will Neighbour was in Europe playing with Great Britain, Michael Javes had not been cleared and Ben Dillard was recovering from surgery.
That boost will be needed with six freshmen expected to report in Josh Hagins, John Gillon, Stetson Billings, Mareik Isom, Andrew Poulter and Kemy Osse.
UALR recovered from a slow start last season to win its fifth Sun Belt Conference division championship in nine seasons.
A few notes going into the summer:
- Condolences to UALR Coach Steve Shields after the death of his father, Gene. Be sure and read this tribute to Gene written by Terrance Hill:
- Will Neighbour’s recovery from shoulder surgery is progressing well. He’s doing some light shooting and appears to be on schedule (if not ahead of schedule) for his return. He is able to do lower body lifting during this time.
- Signees Stetson Billings and Mareik Isom were the first of the new freshmen to arrive on campus. Also already in town are Taggart Lockhart, Neighbour and Michael Javes.
- It's not yet clear what UALR will do with its remaining scholarship. The coaching staff appears to be on the lookout for a Division I transfer (fifth year senior) who might be eligible immediately and fits the team's needs. If that player doesn't surface, it's likely they'll hold on to it. That would keep it available for a mid-season transfer or to add to next year's class.
- It appears Eric Lawton is transferring back closer to home. It’s unclear where Reggie Fondren might transfer to.