With only a matter of hours until the Texas Longhorns close the regular season against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday morning, head coach Shaka Smart is still hoping that freshman forward Mo Bamba will improve enough to play.
Bamba recently suffered a nagging toe injury that limited him against Oklahoma State last weekend and resulted in him missing Monday’s game against Kansas.
On Thursday, the 6’11, 225-pounder wasn’t able to participate in practice, so he’s officially listed as day-to-day. However, Smart said that he’s merely hopeful that Bamba will be able to play again this season and that his pain needs to decrease from where it’s been this week in order to play on Saturday.
Bamba is third on the team is scoring at 13 points per game and leads the Longhorns in rebounding (10.6 per game) and blocked shots (3.8 per game).
If Bamba can’t play, fellow freshman Jericho Sims will once again have to play a large role. In the last two games, Sims has reached double digits in scoring, while adding 15 total rebounds. With only three blocks, however, Sims isn’t the same type of defensive presence around the rim.