View from the Hilltop: Episode 2 Injuries to Howard’s point guards are worries as season starts
Howard University’s ambitious hopes for making the NCAA tournament rest in large part on simply staying healthy. Last year was sort of a lost season for the Bison as several of the team’s best players had to sit because of injuries. At one point last season, Howard suited up amesust six scholarship players.
Perhaps the lone bright spot was the performance of point guard James Daniel III, who stepped into the breach and became the top scorer in all of Division 1, averaging 27.1 points per game.
So when Daniel, now a senior, went down with a high ankle sprain only 17 days before the start of the new season, it was an especially tough blow. Up stepped freshman Kai Tease, who needed to quickly prepare to guide the team through its season opener at Michigan and its second game at Marquette. Howard’s injury curse continued, however, when Tease fractured his left foot just a few days later. He flew home to Sacramento for surgery.
Now the Bison must rely on redshirt junior Ausar Madison. He’s a walk-on, but Madison’s been in the spotlight before, playing at Chicago and national powerhouse Whitney M. Young High School with future NBA player Jahlil Okafor. As a freshmen Madison started his first five games at Howard before battling injuries that cost him the latter part of his freshmen year, and most of his sophomore season.
What was already a tough road trip for Howard now promises to be even more daunting.