PREVIEW: Mason vs. Springboro; what the off-season’s injury bug means for this scrimmage



Tonight’s scrimmage against Springboro is important for the boys’ varsity basketball team. You might be thinking ‘who cares about a scrimmage?’ but for Mason, they really need to bounce back from a struggling exhibition game against Taft earlier this week and have to keep moving forward as team, letting this bug of injuries get past them.

That has pretty much been the story line this off-season, injuries, and not just a few here and there, these injuries have been serious and almost occurring at an “unlucky” rate.

Key starters like JD Sprague and Connor McVey as well as other key bench players like Todd Reed* and Kevin Neihoff will all be inactive for the scrimmage tonight. Of course this is an issue because these players are banged up but also the Comets have yet to have a practice or scrimmage at full strength, remember, Sprague and Neihoff are coming back from football.Sprague said he has only practiced once this off-season and that was after a week off of football, since then he has been battling tendinitis in his Achilles tendon. Good news for the Comets though is he will be ready to return on Monday, Sprague said today.

Neihoff hasn’t even practiced yet either, due to his injuries, according to Head Coach Greg Richards. Today Sprague said he received a text message from Neihoff saying that [Neihoff] will be out for four weeks. Sprague said he isn’t sure of the condition of Neihoff or even what the injury entitles, but he did say it was football related.

One reason Mason struggled against Taft earlier this week was because of the lack of guard play, from all the injuries this off-season, Richards said. McVey suffered a knee injury about two weeks ago which has sidelined him since. Richards did say that McVey should be back for the first game of the season, but in these scrimmages, they have been without a point guard such as McVey to lead.

Tonight versus Springboro will be no different than any other game, they just have to go out and play, despite the recent circumstances. Richards said Springboro is “a good, health group” and it will be pretty competitive even if the Comets don’t have a full roster. Now with all the injuries this scrimmage can mean only so much, the backbone of this team is out, but at the same time this is a scrimmage to stay together as a team and gain some much needed confidence.

NOS’ Angle: I see a problem not with the injuries themselves but with the preparation time. I talked to JD today and with him coming back Monday, that’s great news and that means he will be ready for game one, but that only gives him a week to prepare. Same thing with McVey and he’ll have even less time. The scrimmage will be important just as a team to stay together; they need just a blow out win tonight to just gain some confidence with only a few scrimmages left.

*According to Sprague, Reed is suffering through a bicep sprain that he obtained last week

-James Nosek