STORRS - UConn point guard Alterique Gilbert, who has absorbed more than his share of injuries in his basketball career already, took another blow Thursday night.
The sophomore was hit in the face late in the Huskies’ loss to Temple at Gampel Pavilion and forced to leave the game. He was quickly taken to a local hospital after being helped off the court.
“I know he’s in the emergency room right now. That’s the extent of what I know,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said after the game. “I saw a lot of swelling, a lot of blood. Hopefully he’s OK.”
Gilbert missed nearly all of his first two seasons at UConn after injuring his shoulder and having surgeries to repair the damage.
“It’s deflating because with all he’s been through you just want to see him healthy and competing out there,” UConn forward Tyler Polley said.
Polley’s sentiment was a common one from the Huskies after the game.
“All he does is give you his best. And all he does is care about UConn basketball and his teammates,” Hurley said of Gilbert. “It’s hard to see him deal with the stuff he has to deal with all the time.”
Jalen Adams is certainly the UConn player for whom Senior Night will likely be most memorable, but the Huskies said goodbye to four players in total Thursday night.
UConn coach Dan Hurley, who has guided each man for just one season, was nonetheless sorry to see Eric Cobb, Kassoum Yakwe and Tarin Smith depart.
Cobb has played in 68 games so far in his UConn career, averaging 2.5 points per game. His senior season has been highlighted by a few big performances, including a 13-point, 13-rebound game against Syracuse Nov. 15, and a career-high 16-point effort the following night against Iowa.
“Some great moments that I think he’ll remember, that we’ll remember,” Hurley said. “He’s been a good guy, too. He’s struggled at times with the defensive end of the court but offensively he’s had some great games and some really good moments.”
Smith, a graduate transfer who joined the Huskies from Duquesne, is averaging 8.2 points per game this season. He has been pressed into more meaningful service lately given the Huskies’ rash of injuries.
“Tarin’s been solid as a rock for us,” Hurley said. “Obviously he’s been thrust into a more prominent role. I think you’d have a deeper appreciation for all the little things he’s done for the team if you went back and watched the game twice, or watch the game the way coaches watch.”
A graduate transfer from St. John’s, Kassoum played in just 13 games, scoring a total of 24 points and grabbing 31 rebounds, before his season was ended by an injury.
“You saw the type of impact he could have had defensively for us at times, especially around Christmas,” Hurley said.