SIU’s starting guard has ’50-50′ chance to play in season opener

Saluki guard Mike Rodriguez attempts a basket during SIU’s 74-66 victory against North Texas on Dec. 12 at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

Saluki guard Mike Rodriguez attempts a basket during SIU’s 74-66 victory against North Texas on Dec. 12 at SIU Arena. (DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

By Sean Carley

Saluki men’s basketball may be without one of its key players when the season begins next week.

Coach Barry Hinson said starting point guard Mike Rodriguez has a “50-50” chance of playing Nov. 11 against Wright State.

Rodriguez is recovering from a knee injury he re-aggravated two weeks ago.

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“I talked to his doctor [Monday] and it’s the same we talked about earlier,” Hinson said. “We are going to re-evaluate on Election Day. … We hope to have him in uniform for our first ballgame, but we will not put an emphasis on it.”

The senior guard was third on the team with 8.3 points per game and led the team with 2.9 assists per game.

Freshman guard Aaron Cook is expected to pick up any time missed with Rodriguez’s absence.

“[Cook] is just continually, every day getting better,” Hinson said. “The thing I really like is Mike stands on the sideline and mentors or coaches or advises Aaron in practice.”

Saluki guard Mike Rodriguez dribbles toward the basket during SIU’s 78-68 victory against Missouri State on Feb. 27 at SIU Arena. (Jacob Wiegand | @JacobWiegand_DE)

Saluki guard Mike Rodriguez dribbles toward the basket during SIU’s 78-68 victory against Missouri State on Feb. 27 at SIU Arena. (Jacob Wiegand | @JacobWiegand_DE)

Cook himself is recovering from injury after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder in May.

The freshman was named Conference Player of the Year, Class IV First Team All-State by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association and was placed on St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK’s All-Metro team last year.

Sports editor Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SCarleyDE.

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