Steve Fisher forgot to knock on wood.
On Friday, the San Diego State men’s basketball head coach talked about how fortunate his team was to not have any significant injuries this late in the season.
“We are, health wise, in pretty good shape physically,” he said.
A little more than five minutes into the game against TCU on Saturday night, sophomore guard Chase Tapley was writhing on the floor underneath the basket, holding his ankle. A few minutes later, junior forward Tim Shelton was hobbling off the court too. Tapley injured his ankle, Shelton his foot.
Both returned to the court in the second half wearing protective boots.
“I was definitely worried,” Gay said when he saw Tapley take the hard fall following a missed layup. “It’s hard to see your teammate go down like that. I asked him how he felt at halftime and he said it was a sprain. He’s going to be fine. But we needed him out there tonight.”
Heading into the game, Tapley was averaging 25.4 minutes per night and Shelton was averaging 11.6. Fisher didn’t know immediately after the game the severity of the two injuries and said he would talk to the doctors after he met with the media.
Sophomore guard James Rahon filled in for Tapley, playing 33 minutes, scoring seven points. Jamaal Franklin and Brian Carlwell were used off the bench with Shelton out.
“It’s hard to replace guys like Chase and Tim,” Gay said. “But we do have players that can fill in and do a great job for this team. It’s just adversity that we’re facing.”
The two don’t have long to heal up. No. 6 / 7 SDSU (23-1) will take on Utah Tuesday night at Viejas Arena.