Lonn Reisman’s been in this position before. Entering his 21st season at the helm of the Tarleton State men’s basketball program he built from a laughingstock into a power in the NCAA?Division II ranks, there’s not much the veteran head coach hasn’t seen before.
Every season it’s something, says Reisman. This year, it’s depth concerns caused by a rash of preseason injuries.
“We’re going to be a little slim off the bench, especially early in the season,” said Reisman, who is 417-185 in 20 seasons at Tarleton. “The depth will be a concern, but with concern comes opportunity, and somebody is going to take advantage of the opportunity to get some extra playing time early on and improve.”
Power forward Dan Eichel, who was named LSC Freshman of the Year in 2006-07 and is a two-time LSC All-Academic selection, was unable to return to the Texans for health reasons.
Next, it was Warren Webb going down in one of the first official preseason practices. Webb, a Houston product who made the roster as a true freshman last year, became a fan favorite when he came out of nowhere to provide energy and depth during the Texans’ run to the regional championship game.
Webb, who many close to the program call the heart and soul of the team, will redshirt, Reisman says, and lose no eligibility.
To worsen matters at the guard position, a possible starter was lost when Marlin Cloudy suffered a broken foot.
“It’s going to take Marlin a while to come back but we do expect him to return,” Reisman said of the guard who came off the bench to hit two game-winning shots last year.
Reisman’s club dodged a bullet when 6-10 center Monquel Pegues, a Division I transfer from New Mexico, suffered a wrist injury in the Texans’ exhibition opener against Austin College.
An MRI later revealed no break in the wrist, and the injury has been diagnosed as a sprain. Pegues, who was a junior college All-American, came off the bench in the final exhibition contest at Baylor last week, but had very limited use of his heavily-wrapped wrist.
“We are definitely battling injuries right now, but we know who we’re going to have and what we have to do to continue to improve every day,” Reisman said. “That’s the goal every year at this time is to establish an identity and position ourselves to be ready for a run when Lone Star Conference play begins.”