Mocs' Farad Cobb to play some against EKU

Mocs' Farad Cobb to play some against EKU

December 7th, 2012 by David Uchiyama in Sports - College

UTC guard Farad Cobb smiles after making a basket during a Mocs' game against Kansas.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

The point guard position for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball team is a little blurry for the weekend.

The Mocs (2-5) will play Eastern Kentucky (8-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday in McKenzie Arena.

They may have to do so with limited participation from freshman point Farad Cobb, who practiced for the first time Thursday since getting poked in the eye last Saturday.

He spent the week wearing a solid patch taped over his right eye.

"It still doesn't look normal," said UTC coach John Shulman, who has gone the last five months without incumbent senior point guard Dontay Hampton due to a torn knee ligament.

But Shulman said Thursday night that Cobb will play.

Sophomore shooting guard Ronrico White has started each game at point guard and shared the duty of running the team with Cobb, who has averaged more than 19 minutes per game. If he is unable to play that much Saturday, those minutes will be shared by White and freshman walk-on Alex Bran.

"You go with whoever is out there, which is Ronrico and Alex," Shulman said before Thursday's video session and practice. "We're not going to stick [Cobb] out there if he can't see."

Shulman said White would not play all 40 minutes at point guard, but Bran -- who was a Mr. Football nominee as a quarterback at St. George's in Memphis -- has played only two minutes all season.

White said he could play every second if necessary and he's preparing to play more than his average of 23.7 minutes per game.

"If the team needs me to go 40, I'll go 40," said White, who leads the Mocs with 14 assists. "[Cobb] wants to get back. But I'm preparing myself in case he doesn't. It's about getting rest and eating right and staying away from candy and things."

Cobb spent the first two practices of the week on the sideline doing some dribbling drills and watching practice through his one healthy eye.

"My reaction is kind of slow because it hurts," Cobb said before practice Thursday. "I think I'll be ready. I can do a lot of things, but it's blurry."

Cobb is taking an optimistic approach.

"Each day it gets better and better," he said. "By Saturday I should be 90 percent, 100 percent, 110 percent."

Shulman wasn't as optimistic before practice, especially after scouting Eastern Kentucky's defense. He said the Colonels deny in passing lanes and pressure the ball when defending in the half-court, and having a scholarship point guard certainly would help.

"It's as much pressure and denial as I've seen in nine years," Shulman said. "It's challenging to make a pass, and we haven't done a great job of handling the ball. So we'll work on it and we'll be ready one way or another."

Shulman texted after practice, "He was fine." Later he added, "He will play."