Coach Lorenzo Romar says that flu is running through his basketball team so deeply that they're not able to stick with their normal practice plans.
He says he's never seen anything like it. (And frankly, neither have I. As we interviewed Mathew Bryan-Amaning today, he spoke through a surgical mask.)
“Half the team has got the flu, so we haven’t been able to get after it,” Romar said tpday. “We’ve just done three-on-three, four-on-four stuff. We actually have gotten some good learning in, some good teaching in. But we haven’t been able to get together and go up and down, which is something we do quite a bit.”
Forward Darnell Gant apparently was the first to be hit ... just hours after the Midnight Madness event on Friday. Since then Romar said it's easier to name the players who haven't fallen ill than the ones who have.
The ones who haven't are C. J Wilcox, Abdul Gaddy, Isaiah Thomas, Elston Turner and Justin Holiday.
Wilcox and Gaddy are true freshmen, and Romar said that's the one advantage to any of this, that the freshmen are getting extra time to learn the system and extra attention from the coaches. (The other good thing, he said, is that this is a wave of sickness, not a wave of injuries. He expects everyone back soon... but not soon enough to suit everyone.)
“I’m practicing and we’ve only got seven players, no substitutions, I’m going 110 percent,” said Isaiah Thomas, one of the healthy ones. “But in the end, hopefully, these dudes get healthy and we can get it going.”
Romar said the short roster numbers are one of the reasons the school is having a walkon tryout Thursday. (See post below for details).