Just eleven days after feeling “a pop” in his right hamstring and hobbling off the court in an exhibition loss to Dixie State, UNLV guard Bryce Dejean-Jones will be back on the floor playing for the Runnin’ Rebels (1-0) when they host UC Santa Barbara (1-0) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“Bryce will definitely play (Tuesday),” UNLV coach Dave Rice said after Monday afternoon’s practice. “He practiced full-go (Sunday) and full-go today. We’re excited to have him back.”
Rice said he was unsure whether Jones, who averaged 10.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 29 starts last season, would start.
“We’ll have to see how he feels tomorrow, but he will definitely play, and play a good number of minutes,” Rice said. “Happy to have him back. He’s an important player and adds to our depth.”
“I’m going to suit up and I’ll be ready,” Dejean-Jones said. “It’s coaches’ decision on when I’ll be in.”
Any discomfort at all?
“No, not much at all,” Dejean-Jones said. “It’s stretch before, stretch after. It’s feeling pretty good.”
Even Dejean-Jones admitted that even he was surprised at how quickly he has recovered from what at first appeared to be a potentially serious injury.
“Ten days ago I couldn’t even walk,” he said. “But I’ve been working with the trainers trying to get back to where I was. I think I’m ready.”
“Bryce is so mentally-tough,” Rice said. “He’s one of those guys that just loves to play and works extremely hard. I give Dave Tomchek our trainer a ton of credit for the job he did rehabbing Bryce.”