Something was missing from Western’s rotation when the Toppers took the court with Arkansas State.
Or maybe it was someone.
For the second straight game, senior guard Anthony Sally didn’t move from his seat near the end of the bench, out with what Head Coach Ken McDonald called “tendinitis” in his foot.
McDonald said Sally hasn’t been practicing, and his absence shortened the Toppers’ rotation to the seven players who played with against the Red Wolves. And it’s a rotation McDonald finds appropriate with the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on the horizon.
“I’d like it to be eight in a perfect world,” McDonald said. “If you’re playing multiple games, we’ll make it nine.”
Junior forward Sergio Kerusch cracked the starting lineup Thursday night as did junior forward Cliff Dixon. The only players to come off the bench were freshman guards Jamal Crook and Caden Dickerson.
“The rotation’s been pretty tight, but these guys are giving good minutes,” McDonald said. “I think you have to go, not just to production on the offensive end. But you look at guys who get in the game. You’ve got to make sure you’re holding the line defensively, and we’re not giving up easy baskets — which has been a problem.”
McDonald mentioned freshman forward Jameson Tipping as someone he still trusts on defense, going on to mention freshman guard Jordan Swing as someone who needs to show continued improvement.