Healthy Leeper should contribute more for UALR

LITTLE ROCK – After strong season as a true freshman in 2010-11, a knee injury suffered in a pickup game the following summer forced Gus Leeper to miss all of 2011-12. Leeper returned last season, but another leg injury in the Trojans’ season opener kept him out the following ten games, hurting his conditioning and creating another mental setback that comes with overcoming an injury. Finally healthy as he begins his junior year, Leeper feels like his conditioning and confidence is back where it needs to be.

“Yes, definitely my conditioning is a lot better,” said Leeper. “I feel like I’m close to where I was my freshman year. I’ve lost about eight or nine pounds over the summer, and I look a lot better, feel a lot better and am running a lot better. I don’t really have any pain in my knee or my shin and that’s helped a lot.”

Assistant coach Joe Kleine agrees that Leeper’s conditioning has overall physical state has improved over the summer.

“Much better,” said Kleine. “He’s stronger. He’s running as well as he’s ever run. He was lacking a lot of confidence last year, understandably so, coming off basically a year and a half of inactivity. I’m sure there was some fear every time he pressed or pushed off with his leg. I think the last 10 games of the year we started to see a little better from him. It’s just slowly gotten better through Canada, through practice, you can see that he’s confident, he’s stronger and that there’s no hesitation with worrying about his knee. “