The Southern men’s basketball team hasn’t played a game in a week and had three days off from practice earlier this week.
But the break won’t do any good for center Frank Snow, who will be sidelined for three weeks after having surgery to insert two screws into the broken right hand he suffered in the win at Alcorn State last Saturday.
The Jaguars (10-13, 7-2 SWAC) play Grambling (0-9, 2-17) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
With averages of 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds, Snow hasn’t been one of Southern’s statistical leaders, but he had played his best recently and, at 6-foot-10, he’s tied with Keith Davis as the tallest players on the team.
“Frank has been playing pretty well,” coach Roman Banks said. “He was doing what we needed him to do.”
Banks has multiple options for replacing Snow. He could start Davis and still have a 6-10 presence, or he could start second-leading scorer Tre Lynch and essentially go with four guards.
“I really like our substitution pattern,” Banks said. “Keith was playing really well at the start of league play, but he hasn’t been playing as well lately. Now he has a chance to step up, and he needed to do a little more even if Frank hadn’t gotten hurt, not so much in terms of scoring but in using his size.
“I’m not going to play somebody just because they’re tall. I’m going to play somebody who’s getting the job done.”
The Jaguars should be well-rested as they begin the second half of the SWAC season.
“We wanted to make sure we got some rest and got in some film time and studied ourselves,” Banks said. “As players, we learned more about ourselves and how we can be better players and a better team.”
Southern played five of its first nine conference games on the road, but beginning Saturday it plays five of seven at home.
“Especially playing all the road games and traveling like we do it’s good to get that break,” Lynch said. “Getting off our feet a little bit and getting some rest is big because once you get back on the floor it’s time to get going, to get our bodies back and ready to go really hard for these last nine games.”
Grambling got the Jaguars’ attention by rallying from a 19-point deficit with less than eight minutes remaining to get within four before losing 59-53 in the SWAC opener Jan. 10 in Grambling.
“Even though they’re an 0-9 team, they’re better than 0-9,” Lynch said. “The last time we played them we had a big lead and they came back. That let us know right there that no matter what the record is you; have to come out every game and play.”
Follow Les East on Twitter @EastAdvocate.