ISU's Tyler Brown hopes to play in Saturday's game against Southern Illinois at Redbird Arena. (Photo by B Corbin/WJBC)
By Bryan Bloodworth
Illinois State senior guard Tyler Brown’s status for Saturday’s 3 p.m. Missouri Valley Conference game against Southern Illinois at Rebird Arena won’t be determined until game time.
Brown, the team’s second leading scorer with a 15.5 average, injured his right thumb in Tuesday’s loss at Bradley.
“If he can go and he can’t hurt it anymore, we’ll probably give it a run,” said ISU coach Dan Muller. “If not, other guys will have to step up. It’s tough when you injure your thumb.
“There are so many things your thumb is critical for in basketball and not just with the ball. Defensively, if you jam it or get it caught some different way, it’s very painful. I know he was in a lot of pain at Bradley.
“It was really swollen. For him to fight through the pain was impressive. I was very appreciative of how he fought through the pain.”
Brown suffered his injury in the first half, but managed to return to action and matched his career-high in assists with six. He scored 13 points.
“It did affect my offense,” admitted Brown. “A couple of my passes were just terrible. My thumb is a lot better than the other night.
“I told Coach I can’t do much offensively, but I still want to play because I feel like I can do some other things for the team. But it’s coach’s decision and our trainer John Munn’s decision.”
Muller appreciates Brown’s willingness to play.
“I’m glad to see he wants to play, but we’ll have to wait and see if he can go.”
Bryan Bloodworth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org