Gary Bell Jr. tweeted that he is back, or roughly something along those lines, on Wednesday.
Guess Who's Bizackkkkk...!!!!— Gary Bell Jr. (@GBell_5) January 22, 2014
The timing of the tweet corresponds with his medical schedule. As JIm Meehan with the Spokesman Review reported, Gary Bell had received weekly X-rays on his broken hand, and his latest appointment was today.
Assuming Bell has received medical clearance to play, I would expect to see him eased back into the lineup against San Diego on Thursday. Bell broke his hand on Dec. 28, and overall the Zags played well without the guard, excluding the loss to the Portland Pilots.
Bell's return will most likely come at the cost of minutes for Drew Barham. Barham averaged 18.2 minutes up until Bell's injury and saw that number bump up to 26 minutes while filling in. Barham preformed quite admirably with the added playing time, averaging 11.4 points during Bell's absence.
I would honestly say that in the face of the adversity where the team was attempting to compete with only 2.5 of the starting lineup healthy, the Zags responded pretty nicely. Getting Bell back will be a big boon to making sure we take care of business in the WCC and punch that ticket into the NCAA Tournament. Prior to his injury, Bell was one of our most efficient players on the court, on both sides of the ball.
How this affects the rotation, we shall see. I'm sure plenty of people will grumble about it. Bell was averaging 26.5 minutes per game, and I'd expect him to get all of those back. This most likely comes at the expense of a combination of Barham, Gerard Coleman and Angel Nunez. Most likely, until Few figures out how to utilize them both together, I think Coleman and Nunez will get the very short end of the stick because Barham has already been forced to play (and survive) in the four spot multiple times this season. This means we will be back at the conversation of not playing the two players more, but honestly I think having more players than you know what to do with isn't such a bad thing sometimes.
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