First I am thrilled that Nick is coming back. Here is a kid that could have left Arkansas and gone to school literally wherever he wanted. He is also a kid that actively helped Muss recruit this current roster. Specifically AB and Walsh. So as we all have been cheering Walsh and especially AB, let’s remember they well may not have come here without their friendship and recruiting by Nick.
I must express my frustration with several fans (and posters here and on other boards) referencing AB’s injury, as well as Ricky and MM’s, and inferring that if THEY could play through injuries, why couldn’t Nick? Yes, Muss has lauded those guys for playing through injuries, aches and pains. And deservedly so. But COME ON. Not all injuries are the same. We all know that. I was not a big time athlete, but I was an athlete. And I played through knee contusions and ankle sprains. Broken fingers. Jacked up shoulders. But when I tore a knee ligament? Wasn’t no playing through that. The knee wasn’t stable. That knee bothers me to this day.
In any case, Nick obviously had something serious enough that he could not play through it. So unless you have precise info on what Nick’s injury was, I think the kid deserves the benefit of the doubt. Of course, in our political climate, its “cool” to be angry first, gather facts later. Or maybe not at all. Nick deserves better. And before anyone posts that I am targeting them with my comments, I am not. I am talking about lots of folks. On other boards and who call in on radio shows.
As for how Nick “fits in”…I for one think Muss will be very pragmatic about this, and play Nick as much as is warranted by his performance. I have seen several projected minutes allocations. I admit those can be fun. But I would be imagine that Muss will bring him off the bench, see how he’s playing, and play him as much or as little as the situation warrants.
I do think that with a healthy Nick, we are once again a threat to go deep in the NCAA. Without him, not so sure. We now have depth in the back court. Without Nick, Devo, AB and Ricky were gonna kill themselves at some point.
Finally, I hope that when Nick does enter the game, he is greeted by a huge ROAR. It would have been so easy for him to send out a tweet, thank the fan base, and say “due to my injury, I won’t be returning, but instead I will prepare for the NBA draft.” So easy.
He didn’t do that. And this fan, who has spent a lifetime working with 18-23 year olds, will always be grateful he came back and made a priority of “being a Hog.” That was an adult, and loyal, decision. I appreciate it. And him.
Thank you Nick.
Now, let’s win some more dadgum games!
I for one would love an SEC Tourney championship. I get tired of watching other fanbases get that trophy.
Then…how about a Final Four?!