Most of a basketball team's bumps and bruises typically accumulate in February.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's team is suffering through its share a few weeks early this season.
Senior forward Omar Wattad did not play last Saturday because he had a strained back. Senior guard Ricky Taylor played despite an injury to the inside of his right wrist. Senior forward Jahmal Burroughs played with his thumb taped and while shaking off a broken nose from two weeks ago.
"I'd have to be crippled not to play," Taylor said. "Or in a wheelchair."
Even while turning the training room into an extended-stay motel, the Mocs beat Appalachian State 65-64 in Saturday's game.
Their personnel may be different Thursday when they host Wofford in McKenzie Arena. Burroughs is very likely to play. Taylor is probable. He goofed around on the UTC band's drum set before practice Tuesday even though his shooting hand was submerged in a warm wax.
But Wattad is a lot more questionable and has been held out of typical drills. Shulman said Wattad is 50-50 to play against the Terriers.
"Ricky is better, and I was proud of his effort," Shulman said. "Jahmal has had thumb, knee, nose issues, but if you ask him he says, 'I'm playing.'"
The end result is that the Mocs likely will be changing their practice schedule, especially on Sundays, to give the regulars a bit of rest while working the reserves a little more.
The Citadel senior Mike Groselle may be the best player playing on a bad team in the Southern Conference.
The 6-foot-8 junior center is a throwback to the days of a traditional center -- a rarity in the SoCon. He leads the league with 9.7 rebounds per game and is second in scoring at 16.6 points per game.
"He's a blue-collar back-to-basket aggressive post player," Bulldogs coach Chuck Driesell said. "He's different than most of the rest of them."
Curry completes classes
The Golden State Warriors drafted former Davidson star Stephen Curry after his junior season.
This year's NBA lockout allowed Curry to return to Davidson to attend classes counting toward his degree. Even though the lockout ended before the end of the semester, Wildcats coach Bob McKillop said Curry completed some classes.
"He returned to training camp about the same time we started our exam period," McKillop said. "He did complete his classes for the fall. He has two or three classes left to take."
Paladins seek punch
Furman coach Jeff Jackson has three players who have each scored 139 points this season for an average of 9.3 points per game. No Paladin is ranked among the top 25 scorers in the SoCon.
"I would prefer to have a go-to guy," Jackson said. "We have a lot of different guys who are capable."
But none are getting the job done on a regular basis, which has resulted in a 1-3 start to the SoCon season.
"Charlie Reddick is really coming on," Jackson said. "He's only a sophomore. He's starting to understand what his capabilities are."
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...