“My teammates helped me through everything,” Curry told the media. “My mom, my coaches — they kept me positive. There were times when it got really tough, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I’m ever going to come back.’ But they just kept my head on straight.”As a freshman in 2016-17, Curry proved effective off the bench, averaging 5.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game. This season, head coach Richard Pitino has been careful not to rush Curry back, knowing he’s making steady progress toward becoming the productive player he was two years ago.“Slowly but surely,” Pitino told the media last week. “He’s not going to be ready 100 percent right away. That’s going to take some time, but I like what I’ve seen from him.”When he is on the court, senior Dupree McBrayer said that Curry brings energy and versatility to the lineup, adding a new dimension to the Gophers’ defense.“He talks a lot on defense, so that makes everything easier,” McBrayer told the media. “We definitely need that. We can switch a lot more things because [Curry] can cover guards. That gives so much more room to switch, so just having him out there we get different looks defensively.”Minnesota will need all the help they can get on defense and offense on Tuesday night when they travel to Ann Arbor to play Michigan, who suffered their first defeat of the season Saturday at Wisconsin. Curry’s return an important addition for the GophersThe forward is back on the court and playing well after missing over a year with injuries.Jack RodgersForward Eric Curry shoots the ball at Williams Arena on Saturday, Jan. 19. The Gophers defeated Penn State 65-64. Nick JungheimJanuary 21, 2019Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThree minutes and 45 seconds into the Gophers’ game against Mount St. Mary’s on Dec. 30, Williams Arena erupted into cheers as redshirt sophomore Eric Curry checked into the game. It was the first time in 654 days the 6 foot, 9 inch forward stepped onto the court in a competitive game.“It was amazing. I couldn’t even sleep at night,” Curry told the media after that game, a 71-53 Gophers’ victory. “I couldn’t wait to get back on the court in front of our fans. It was amazing seeing all the fans giving me a standing ovation.”In August 2017, Curry suffered a serious injury in his left knee, tearing his ACL, MCL and meniscus. He missed the entirety of the season, a disappointing 15-17 campaign in which the team was plagued with losses to key players. Curry was expected to make his much-anticipated return to the lineup at the beginning of this season. Unfortunately, after playing in a preseason scrimmage against Creighton, he experienced swelling in the same knee that kept him sidelined the year prior. Soon after, the team announced that Curry would require another operation that ultimately kept him out for the first 12 games of the season.Over the games Curry missed, Minnesota amassed a record of 10-2. The Gophers’ front court was still in good shape without him, thanks largely to All-Big Ten senior Jordan Murphy. Filling in for Curry at the five was freshman Daniel Oturu, a four-star recruit who quickly established himself as a rising star for the Gophers. Oturu’s play has steadily improved throughout the year. He currently averages 10.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.“[They are] two of the great players in the conference,” Curry told the media regarding Murphy and Oturu. “It’s been amazing going against those two guys in practice and they’ve been great helping me along the way, just like I’ve helped them along the way too.”While his minutes are still limited, Curry has been the first forward off the bench in most games since his return, adding much needed depth at forward. Entering the game to a chorus of cheers and applause on Dec. 30 was the culmination of a difficult path to recovery for Curry.
Prattville’s Cole Lipscomb will “more than likely” start for Auburn against Kentucky Tuesday. AUBURN – With his team’s NCAA Tournament hopes very much on the bubble, Auburn coach Sunny Golloway laid out his case in what will be one of many baseball stump speeches this week.Golloway pointed to Auburn’s resume, which includes a 34-22 overall record including 13-17 in the SEC, an RPI of 23, and a strength of schedule ranked No. 4 nationally.“Our body of work has been strong,” Golloway said. “We’re strengthening our metrics all the way across the board.”But after losing two of three at Florida last weekend, No. 9 seed Auburn enters the SEC Tournament at the Hoover Met Tuesday against No. 8 seed Kentucky having lost five of its last six conference games and with the status of ace pitcher Keegan Thompson, who pitched two innings in Sunday’s loss to the Gators in his first action since an elbow injury on April 18, in question for the remainder of the season.“We’re unsure,” Golloway said of Thompson. “I know it sounds crazy, but we’re going to put him on the 27-man (roster). I think bottom line, ultimately he’s in a situation where he’s going to have to get with Dr. (James) Andrews. What Keegan wants to do is try to help us.”Auburn ace Keegan Thompson’s status for the SEC Tournament is in question as he recovers from an elbow injury.Thompson threw 29 pitches, 19 for strikes, with two strikeouts but allowed a solo home run and saw a drop in velocity in his second inning of work in Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Gators.“In the first inning he was 93 (miles per hour), punched two of the three guys he faced out in the first inning,” Golloway said. “In the second inning it started to drop pretty drastically and he gave up an (opposite field) home run that he thought was a good pitch down and away to a talented hitter of theirs, but still it’s not something that you usually see Keegan give up.“We had a 1-0 lead when that happened. He was disappointed; Keegan felt like he was letting his team down; I assured him he wasn’t, that he was doing the best he could.”Golloway said Thompson (7-3, 3.21 ERA) feels he can “give us one or two innings strong” if need be but the second-year Tigers coach believes his ace will need to “get in there and get fixed” by Andrews.Auburn will “more than likely” turn to Prattville’s Cole Lipscomb, for Tuesday’s game, which will be at 4:30 p.m. on SEC Network.A Second Team All-SEC honoree, Lipscomb (7-2, 2.38 ERA) led the Tigers to a 4-1 win over Florida Thursday, allowing one run on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts in his seventh quality start in eight SEC starts.With the SEC rule allowing for teams to wait until an hour before first pitch to declare a starter, Golloway plans to use every minute available.“We’re going to go ahead and wait until an hour before if we have to,” he said. “More than likely yes (Lipscomb will start), but we won’t name that until we have to.”Go Mobile, Montgomery! Download our apps here