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Charhair

Okeke injures knee at Team USA tryouts

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Matthew Stevens | Montgomery Advertiser

AUBURN – Chuma Okeke wanted to be in a great mood Tuesday but couldn’t help starring at his giant brace on his left knee.

 
Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl confirmed via text message to the Montgomery Advertiserthat Okeke, who is an incoming freshman at Auburn in this upcoming 2017-18 season, suffered a left knee that will require a MRI scan Wednesday to evaluate if he’ll be able to continue participation with Team USA.

SEC Country reporter Kyle Tucker was the first to report this news from Team USA tryouts in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Okeke, who was a four-star recruit from Atlanta, was a consensus Top 50 ranked prospect and led Westlake High School to the 2016 Georgia Class 6A state championship for the first time since 2002.

Along with Okeke, Auburn has another representative as sophomore-to-be Austin Wiley, who is impressing coaches and expected to be a member of the 12-man roster to be announced Thursday.

 

“Chuma has been playing well, ever since the first day,” said Wiley. “He has been playing hard and aggressive and doing what he does and not letting this being his first minicamp get to him like it does most people. I gave him some advice and told him what it was going to be like and to play hard at all times, and they will notice you.”

 

It was announced Tuesday that Wiley Okeke were named among 18 finalists. The selected finalists will remain in Colorado Springs, Colorado and will train twice a day through June 25.

“It’s an amazing honor,”  Pearl said about having two players on the 28-player tryout roster. “As far as the program is concerned, to have a 6-11 sophomore and a 6-9 freshman … size matters in basketball and quality size is hard to find.”

Okeke’s MRI scan will likely go a long way to determining one long-term and short-term factor. The short-term factor is obviously whether he’ll be one of the 12-man team picked by Team USA coach John Calipari along with other representatives from USA Basketball. However, Pearl is more than interested to see if this injury affects Auburn’s summer and fall practice sessions. Auburn is scheduled for a summer trip to Italy prior to the start of the fall semester.

“This is one of the greatest things that the NCAA allows us to do once every four years, to be able to take a foreign trip,” Pearl said. “You get to know your team better, but more importantly, you get to share that experience together. You get closer off the floor, and I have always had great, better years, sometimes great years, in years after when we’ve gone on foreign trips.”

Edited by Charhair

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11 minutes ago, Tiger said:

yikes!

Yupp. No time table according to CBP. Hopefully Chuma heals well and quickly but I hate it for him that he has to miss this. 

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23 minutes ago, Charhair said:

Yupp. No time table according to CBP. Hopefully Chuma heals well and quickly but I hate it for him that he has to miss this. 

That does suck. Hopefully this won't set him back getting ready for our season. We're going to need him.

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32 minutes ago, Tiger said:

That does suck. Hopefully this won't set him back getting ready for our season. We're going to need him.

I agree. I think most of us were under the impression he'd be playing a lot, if not starting, especially thanks to his ability to rebound. 

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Hopefully they are just being very cautious with him & he will be good to go for the Tigers. Not much info out there other than "injured knee" which could mean anything.

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Kyle Tucker, a UK beat writer who was in CO, said they took him out if a brace and he didn't need ice. Seems to believe it is similar to Kevib Knox situation where playing it ultra safe is the right call

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On 6/22/2017 at 1:02 PM, GenesChin said:

Kyle Tucker, a UK beat writer who was in CO, said they took him out if a brace and he didn't need ice. Seems to believe it is similar to Kevib Knox situation where playing it ultra safe is the right call

I really hope you are right.

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Guys, relax...but maybe break out the bubble wrap until December.

From Scott Griffin:  @griffsz

.@__Austinwiley50 "talked to @chuma_okeke & he says MRI shows bone bruise" so not a tear or serious knee injury @AuburnMBB incoming FR.

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Hope he's good, what he could do on defense could really impact games. And that may not show up on the box score where people usually decide who's contributing and who's not, but could be very important. And no not talking about a post defense. He actually gives us an ability to run a 1-3-1 zone. Of course I don't know if our coaches will do so....they would be wise to though. It's what duke did using Jayson Tatum. Okeke isn't close as being the same class offensive player but he's quicker and more agile.

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