Central Michigan guard Austin Keel is day-to-day after suffering a sprained ankle in practice last week.
He sat out of the open Maroon & Gold scrimmage Saturday, wearing sweats and a walking boot on his left foot. Keel and head coach Keno Davis both said after that he is not expected to miss any significant time and could play in CMU’s exhibition game Oct. 28 against Lake Superior State.
“He stepped on somebody’s foot in practice,” Davis said. “This was his first practice ever missed of his career, and I told him that if there was ever a good time to miss a couple of days, it’s right now.”
Keel played in all 31 games last season, starting in 20, at the shooting guard spot on a team that was in transition. A few players from the Ernie Zeigler era remained, and Keel played about 17 minutes per game while averaging 4.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.
Many of those players have since left, with Keel and sixth-year senior center Zach Saylor the only two left. Barring injury, Saylor is expected to play significant minutes while Keel will have some competition to deal with on a guard-heavy team.
“That’s the plan,” Keel said of landing in the starting lineup. “There are definitely some guys who can play. As long as I make shots, I should see a lot of playing time.”
Davis said Keel’s injury allowed others, citing sophomore combo-guard Spencer Krannitz, to get more playing time. Expect senior DeAndray Buckley and sophomores Austin Stewart, Rayshawn Simmons and Derrick Richardson Jr. to compete for minutes, too.
“You can’t press and run and play five, six guys,” Davis said. “You have to have at least eight, and we’ve got more than that. When we have an injury, like Keel not practicing today, it doesn’t affect us much. It’s kind of like the next man up, so we’re going to be a tough team to go against.”
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