Yes, Johnny Loyd is beginning to get a handle on things, but Dominic Artis will back to share to the load. Well, at least a small portion of it.
Today is his second day of limited practice, and Coach Altman says he will decide how much time Artis sees on the court Thursday, depending on how things go in the game.
So, how many minutes off the bench are we talking, Coach?
"It's kind of like limiting a pitch count in baseball...If he's not feeling right we will take him out," said Altman at Tuesday's practice. "We could have put him in a few weeks ago but it wasn't worth it.... He's a player to build around."
There will be five weeks worth of rust to wear off. But fans may be surprised by his strengthened basketball I.Q; Altman said the other week that watching from the bench has helped Artis understand things, see things, he couldn't in games.
This past Saturday, he drove that point home.
"He hasn't missed a beat. He's been to every practice (doing drills that don't effect his foot), always asking me 'ok,what do I do on this, that, etc."
"He's been focused the whole time, and I'm sure there will be an adjustment period.....three weeks to get blended in (before the Pac-12 Tournament)."
The plan is to work him in slowly, according to Coach. Loyd will stay in the starting lineup regardless.
"If someone had told me at the beginning of the season 'you have a chance to win the conference title with two weeks to go in the season, and your point guard was going to miss nine game, you know I'd 'a took it.