The Simpson men’s basketball team has dealt with many injuries to its varsity and junior varsity squads this season. Head coach Bruce Wilson said the situation is mainly a matter of luck.
“Sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes you’re not – it’s just the luck of the draw,” Wilson said. “It seems to me that last year we went through an entire season with 15 guys on varsity and only had a dislocated finger and one person sick for the last playoff game.”
Varsity players who have missed games and practice time this year include freshman Matt Gilbert and sophomores Jason Soppe, Jason Parkinson and Brett Cermak.
Besides plaguing the top of the ranks, injuries have hit the junior varsity team: freshmen David Combs, Matt Stauter and Pete Butler have all missed game time or practice
Wilson said missing a player on the varsity level who’s a leading scorer, like Parkinson or Soppe, for two games greatly impacts the team.
“With Parkinson getting hurt, it hurt us,” Soppe said. “But it’s one of those things we have to work through.”
Soppe missed a pair of games this season. He said that having Cermak get injured hurt the team’s confidence.
But that was only until the other players on the bench showed they could pick up the slack.
Wilson said that another bad thing about having a lot of injuries throughout his whole squad is that the younger players miss a lot of reps and are unable to develop as fast compared to a healthy player. It also becomes harder to have players perform at their peak level for scrimmages during practice.
Soppe noticed that the injuries also threw off on-court chemistry: missing players disrupted the rotations.
“We’re used to playing with certain people,” Soppe said.
The team is still trying to find a solid core, even with injuries. The Storm is on a three-game losing streak – to Dubuque, Coe and Loras.
But, Wilson said though the team is taking its hits, it is still working on getting back to the best it can be.