The Trojans have spent the season so far with injuries to two critical players out due to injury, however both should be returning soon just in time to make a strong impact as the Trojans gear up for conference play.
Stetson Billings and Dayshawn Watkins started off the season with injuries, that combined with losing a number of key seniors from last year, has at times slowed down the Trojans in non-conference play. The Trojans are currently 8-2 with games coming up against Northern Arizona, Oral Roberts, and Florida before the start of conference play.
Billings is one of the rare four year players for the Trojans, and brings a good deal of leadership from the bench at the small forward position. Billings has played solid defense off the bench over the past couple of years, something the Trojans need with the current roster. His best season was in 2014-15 when he averaged 2.4 rebounds and 2.1 points in just a little under 10 minutes of play per game for the Trojans. Billings injured his Patellar tendon in the off season, and is expected to return at any time.
Billings says he is feeling good and ready to go pending the doctor’s release. It is possible that he will see action as early as this Wednesday against Northern Arizona, but certainly will make an apperance before the Trojan’s start conference play.
Watkins might be the most critical return of all. The Florida State transfer is a true point guard, which is the biggest need on the Trojan’s squad. Watkins suffered a broken toe in preseason and should return to at the start of conference play.
Watkins, a senior originally from North Little Rock, could quickly find his way into the starting lineup thanks to the role he will fill on the team. Point guard duties have been handled primarily through Marcus Johnson Jr, who is also the team’s leading scorer. The move would take pressure off Johnson and would likely allow even more scoring opportunities to open up. Johnson is averaging 15.8 points per game and 2.5 assist.
The Trojans are on the road until New Year’s Eve when they return home to take on Louisiana Monroe.