Dobson SF Kodi Justice close to return
The third-ranked Dobson boys basketball team has two of its toughest early-season games coming up, with No. 7 Corona del Sol on Friday and No. 4 Mesa on Dec. 13.
Star small forward Kodi Justice, an Arizona State verbal commitment, will miss his eighth straight game to start the year tonight against Desert Ridge but may be back for one or both of the prime matchups. Justice suffered a bone fracture in his foot in the offseason, and while he is still in a walking boot, coach Rick McConnell said he could be cleared to play by the end of the week.
“He’s been able to shoot and move around,” McConnell said. “Now he’s on the road to getting ready to play. The (trainers) were cautious with him. We’ll get him in as soon as we can.”
McConnel said Justice has learned a lot from being on the bench and it could benefit him on the court. There will be more of an adjustment physically, as Justice was in peak physical condition this summer – he ran a 5:30 mile – but will have to get back in game shape after the layoff.
“It will be a transition for the physical part of it because he’ll get tired quickly,” McConnell said. “Maybe he won’t be as active, but he’s excited to get in and start playing.”
Not surprisingly, offseason transfers Jaron Hopkins (26.6 points) and Ryan Richardson (19.3 points) have led the way for the Mustangs. Hopkins may be the top 2013 recruit in the state – he is committed to Colorado – while Richardson has low-major scholarship offers.
McConnell said the team is still learning about itself, and the impending addition of Justice will be another change as Dobson looks to fine-tune its chemistry for a title run.
“It’s a week-to-week thing,” said McConnell, whose team lost its opener but has since won six straight. “It’s going to take some time, but it (should be fine) as long as we improve every week. Rebound, guard people, try to move the ball on offense. This is how I thought it would be heading into the season, but it’s fun.”