| March 22, 2018

M. Basketball Commentary: A Missing Link

For the Idaho men’s basketball team, being without one of its star players, senior guard Perrion Callandret, isn’t out of the ordinary.

Callandret suffered from multiple injuries throughout his career, removing him from the lineup more than once. Most recently, Callandret was on the bench for a stretch during conference play of the 2015-16 season.

Callandret is out once again with a bruised bone injury. I think the rest of the team is feeling some pain right along with him.

The Vandals felt his absence Tuesday in the Memorial Gym as they fell to San Jose State 58-49.

His partnership with junior guard Victor Sanders is a sight to be seen, but it also seems like they are on their own wavelength, leaving the rest of the team to fill in the blanks.

Callandret isn’t exactly a force in the communication department.

Last year’s leader, guard Chris Sarbaugh, seemed to keep everything running smoothly with constant communication. Junior Brayon Blake has filled that position almost flawlessly. But Callandret is a force in the skills department and this is where he left a hole in the Idaho game plan.

His presence, though it may not be very vocal, is still needed on the court. If anything, it boosts the confidence of the team.

I noticed during the Vandals’ game against San Jose State that Idaho struggles to keep possession of the ball. The Vandals finished the night with 17 turnovers, and it might have been one of the deciding factors in the loss to the Spartans.

Against Sam Houston State Nov. 25, the Vandals allowed 15 turnovers. The Bearkats scored 18 points off turnovers. Limiting turnovers could have helped Idaho close the score gap, which was just seven points difference at the end of play.

Could this be a result of the absence of an offensive strength?

On the offensive end, Sanders and junior small forward Jordan Scott picked up the slack in the scoring and rebounding realm, but any positive addition to the stat sheet is more than welcome during this rough patch.

Callandret created a confidence that Idaho has yet to replace, and the team is hurting because of it.

But if Callandret remains unable to play, the Vandals have just enough time to work out the kinks just in time for Big Sky Conference play.

Mihaela Karst can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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