It’s painfully obvious how much UALR misses junior point guard J.T. Thomas.
Thomas missed his fourth game last night, a 78-64 UALR loss at Tulsa that dropped the Trojans to 3-5 on the season. He was injured Nov. 22 at Southern. At the time it was diagnosed as a pulled groin and UALR targeted his return for the Tulsa game.
But Burn The Horse heard this week it was something more serious and UALR Coach Steve Shields confirmed that on last night’s postgame radio broadcast. The hope now is that Thomas can return for Sun Belt Conference play.
Thomas’ statistics aren’t overwhelming. He averages 6.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. But he brings a presence on the court that UALR has been missing.
The only positive of Thomas being out has been the extended minutes and play of DeVonte Smith. He has shown he can handle the point guard position and will make a lethal 1-2 combination when Thomas returns.
Hopefully, that’s sooner than later.
Realistically, where did you think UALR would be at this point in the season? UALR is currently 3-5. We had the Trojans at 4-4 through eight games. The only game UALR lost that it was supposed to win was the season opener vs. North Florida. The hope was that UALR could win the three home games and win one of the three games against Middle Tennessee, Southern and Tulsa.
NUMBERS NEVER LIE
UALR’s 2 guards went 3 for 15 from the field, including 1 of 5 from three-point range last night.
GLASS HALF FULL
Senior Will Neighbour continues to have a tremendous season. He finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 1 steal in 34 minutes.
GLASS HALF EMPTY
Sophomore James White’s inconsistency continues to hurt. He had 7 points and 5 rebounds last night. Those are good numbers. But he was limited to 20 minutes due to foul trouble and committed a team-high five turnovers.
KEYS TO VICTORY
Free your mind: UALR went a very good 20 of 27 at the free-throw line. But UALR sent Tulsa there far too much and eventually the Golden Hurricane started making them. Tulsa finished 26 of 40. Grade: B-.
Handle the pressure: UALR was very good in the first half, but had issues in the second.; The Trojans finished with 17 turnovers and Tulsa won 18-10 in points off turnovers. Grade: D.
Clear glass: UALR outrebounded Tulsa 38-37, including 12-11 in offensive rebounds. UALR had more second-chance points but that stat was even in the second half. Still, a good effort here. Grade: B+.
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS
UALR was a 10-point underdog in Las Vegas. That means you lost if you bet on the Trojans last night.
After a week of finals, beginning with some at 8 a.m. this morning, UALR travels to Memphis on Friday.