Texas State looks to overcome injury to starting point guard

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Men's Basketball

Texas State will have to overcome an injury that is expected to keep starting point guard Marlin Davis out for the season.

Davis fell to the floor early in the first half of Saturday’s game against Troy. The sophomore guard’s knee appeared to buckle. Texas State’s staff believes it’s an ACL injury, which they’re hoping is just a partial tear.

Head coach Danny Kaspar isn’t sure how his team will respond when the Bobcats travel to take on Arkansas State on Thursday and Little Rock on Saturday.

“It’s a hard question to answer because Marlin isn’t going to be with us,” Kaspar said. “We’re hoping to get Isaiah Gurley back. We just had an injury to Shelby Adams. We aren’t sure how serious it is. So, this constant shuffling of players can be disruptive. Like right now, we’re slowing things down to teach Nijal (Pearson) how to play some point (guard). In some ways, it’s almost like starting practice over again. When you lose a player and you feel like, ‘Okay, we’ve got to make adjustments,’ it kind of knocks practice out of kilter.”

For Pearson, it’s going to be different without Davis on the court. Pearson has played with Davis in AAU basketball since middle school.

“It’s going to be different for sure,” Pearson said. “But it gives me more motivation. I’ve got to step up and lead my team.”

Pearson is being taught how to play point guard for the Bobcats, which he says isn’t too different because he played point guard in high school. Pearson, however, won’t see the most time at point guard. Texas State is going to rely on junior guard Tre Nottingham to fill in for Davis.

Kaspar said Nottingham will go from playing 10 minutes at shooting guard and 5-7 minutes at point guard per game to playing 25-30 minutes at point guard. Pearson believes Nottingham will be able to find success in his increased role.

“The biggest thing with Tre is in his mind knowing that he can do it because Tre is talented,” Pearson said. “He can dribble the ball. He can pass the ball. He can shoot the ball. In Tre’s mind, if he knows, if he feels like the team needs him, he’s going to step up in the right way. I don’t think there’s a lot we can’t do. Tre is pretty good.”

With a road trip in front of them, Kaspar wants to see his team embrace the challenge of adapting to playing without Davis.

“We just all got to raise our level of competition,” Kaspar said. “Raise our level of productivity, and efficiency, and make up for our losses and injuries.”

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