BURN THE HORSE
There were a lot of folks who were disappointed last season when Gus Leeper suffered an injury and had to redshirt. Us included. After all, a lot was expected of the sophomore despite some pretty puny statistics.
A lot more will be expected this year as he repeats his sophomore year of eligibility with the Trojans.
Leeper a 6-10 forward from Austin, Texas, came on strong in the final month of the 2010-2011 season and is expected to be a vital contributor now that he’s healthy again.
The Leeper most people remember is the one who averaged 6 points and 3.5 rebounds over the past six games of the season. The one we tend to forget is the Leeper who had scored only 14 points in the 23 games prior to that.
After scoring 4 points (giving him 10 for the season) against Western Kentucky on Feb. 17, 2011, Leeper was thrown into the starting lineup on Feb. 19 against Middle Tennessee. The move came largely because Courtney Jackson was injured. Jackson would play only 3 more minutes the rest of the season. Leeper had 4 points and 5 rebounds that night and made an impression.
And when he wowed the Jack Stephens Center crowd with 11 points and 6 rebounds in a March 1 game vs. North Texas, he earned a spot in the starting lineup for the rest of the season.
But Leeper still didn’t score much until the Sun Belt Championship game. He had 10 points in 27 minutes that night as he helped UALR to the Sun Belt Tournament. And even though he only had 4 points and 5 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament game against UNC-Asheville, his foul-out was one of the key points in that contest.
The facts are that Leeper averaged only 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds during his freshman season. The reality is that Leeper kepth working hard all season and eventually got a chance to shine on a big stage. And now with a strength-building redshirt year he has the potential to have a Sun Belt Tournament type impact during his sophomore year.