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FGCU (8-9, 4-3 A-Sun)
Lipscomb (8-10, 3-3 A-Sun)
1/14/2012 | Nashville, TN - Allen Arena | Attendance: 2131
Friday, January 13, 2012
Like most freshman Lipscomb point guard Zavion Williams has been required to make the adjustment to the college game. But unlike most freshmen an injury has forced Williams to make adjustments to the way he plays.
After starting the season on a strong note, scoring a season-high 28 points against SIU Edwardsville and 22 against Gardner-Webb, Williams started having trouble with both of his knees. It was decided that Williams would undergo surgery on both knees.
He played 23 minutes in the 85-74 win over Belmont Jan. 6. Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson isn’t certain how many minutes Williams will play Saturday night when Florida Gulf Coast visits Allen Arena for an Atlantic Sun game at 6:30. The women’s teams play at 4.
“Right now, I would say that he is probably 75 percent back,” Sanderson said. “It has definitely slowed him down, especially offensively. It is hard to come back from two knee surgeries.
“Early in the year in transition he was getting a lot of baskets for himself and getting a lot of baskets for other people. His best asset offensively was in the transition because he was so fast on the open floor. He could get by people, collapse the defense and continue to the basket. You don’t see that as much now.”
Williams was averaging 11.9 points per game before he was injured. He took 11 shots against Belmont, hitting two of them, in his third game since his return. He had been sidelined since Dec. 6, missing five games, before playing at Jacksonville Jan. 2.
“He makes good decisions,” Sanderson said. “He hasn’t forced the action as much offensively. Early in the year he was scoring a lot and shooting the ball a fair amount. He is distributing the ball more than he is shooting it since he has come back.”
As he recovers Williams also is playing differently on defense.
“He was a disruption defensively in the backcourt,” Sanderson said. “He would give our past guys another one or two more seconds to get down court because he was down there harassing the ball. We are missing those components but he is more than capable of bringing them back once he gets healthy.
Williams quickly found out that he would have to make some changes in the way he approached the game on both ends of the court.
“It was very challenging at first,” Williams said. “I have to figure out other ways to score. I can’t rely on my quickness. I’m trying to figure out how I can be more productive in the state I am in.
“It is slowly coming back. As soon as I get my flexibility comes back I will be able to run and jump like I used to play.”
He has been watching teammate Jacob Arnett as he makes his adjustments.
“I have to protect the ball more,” Williams said. “I have to play more like Jacob. I have to use my body more. I have to be more conservative with the ball.
“I didn’t pick up a ball for about four weeks. I have to work on how high I need to be when I let go of the ball and how much body strength I need.”
It is never a positive when a player misses practice sessions, but for a freshman like Williams every repetition is crucial.
“It’s a balancing act,” Sanderson said. “He has limited practice time. We are just trying to get him well. We need him to practice, but we need him to get well.
“He will go a couple of reps and then sit out and go a couple of more reps. When you do that he loses a little bit of conditioning, a little bit of timing and a little bit of rhythm. He needs as many reps as he can get with the players on the floor.
“For a freshman it is hard to miss practice and improve…it is very hard. Zavion has a high standard for himself as far as wanting to compete and play well. He hasn’t played up to his capabilities. A lot of time he gets upset with himself.”
Williams spends extra time on rehab work in the mornings and individual shooting workouts in the afternoon. It is fully expected that Williams will be regain his quickness and shooting abilities as he continues his rehab.
“For a freshman it is hard to miss practice and improve…it is very hard. Zavion has a high standard for himself as far as wanting to compete and play well. He hasn’t played up to his capability. A lot of time he gets upset with himself.
“He will be fine. The first five or six games he played he was really good. He was effective on both ends of the floor. Hopefully, late in the season we can get him back to that level. He will do the best he can for our team this year.”
Saturday's Adoption Rally to benefit Estabrooks family
Thomas and Kelly Estabrooks from Spring Hill will be the recipients of the Adoption Rally grant Saturday at Lipscomb's Allen Arena. The Estabrooks will receive all revenue generated from single-game ticket sales for the game.
The Estabrooks are adopting for the first time. They are adopting from the country of Bulgaria and expect to be matched with a little girl between the ages of 5 and 7. The Estabrooks have two biological sons, Parker and Mason.
"We feel that there is room in our home and our hearts for one more," said Kelly. "We feel that there is someone missing from our family and through adoption, we can fill that spot. We are blessed to have two sons, but would like to have a little girl in the house. Secondly, we believe that as Christians, God calls us to be responsible for orphans and widows. Each person answers this call differently. We have answered it by bringing a child into our hearts and home, through adoption."
Thomas works as an inspector with Collier Engineering. Kelly is a preschool teacher. The family is active at the Spring Meadows Church of Christ in Spring Hill.
"We know that our little girl is waiting for us out there and she will bring as much joy into our lives as we will give to her," said Kelly.
Lipscomb University's Adoption Rally program was created to help families in middle Tennessee raise money to defray some of the mounting costs of adoption. At each men's basketball home game, an adopting family is chosen as the beneficiary of all of the single-game ticket sales revenue for that game. The families are chosen by the Adoption Rally Advisory Board made up of Lipscomb alumni and friends who have either adopted children or were adopted themselves. Families that are chosen simply try to get as many people to attend their game as possible. The larger the crowd, the more money that goes towards their adoption. For full details or to apply for an Adoption Rally grant, visit www.adoptionrally.com.