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Syracuse senior point guard Frank Howard could return for 1st game

first_imgSyracuse senior point guard Frank Howard could return to practice about one week before the season opener, SU head coach Jim Boeheim said Friday. That timetable could put him on track to play in Syracuse’s first regular-season game, which is Nov. 6.Howard, wearing a protective boot on his left leg, sustained a basketball-related injury sometime in September. The injury was announced Sept. 14. Howard has not practiced since then. He expects to return to practice in about three weeks, before the Orange’s 2018-19 regular-season opener Nov. 6 against Eastern Washington inside the Carrier Dome.“We expect that, if all goes well, he would be able to practice about a week before our first regular-season game,” Boeheim said Friday afternoon. “If everything goes according to plan.”Howard will begin walking next week without the boot. In the meantime, freshman guard Jalen Carey has taken many of Howard’s point-guard time in practice, Boeheim said. The preseason experience aids in Carey’s acclimation to the SU system, familiarizes him with the running the offense and could set him on track to be Syracuse’s first guard off the bench.“It hurts a little bit,” Boeheim said of Howard’s injury. “But if he was playing and Jalen wasn’t playing, it would hurt Jalen a lot more because he’s learning the system. Frank knows what we do. He sees what’s going on. I thought coming in off the summer and fall that Frank was playing the best that I’ve seen him play here. And I think he’ll get right back to that pretty quickly.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLast season, the Orange went 23-14 overall and 8-10 in conference play. They return all five starters, including Howard, who averaged 14.4 points and 4.7 assists. He shot 37.6 percent from the floor and 32.7 percent from 3-point territory.As a junior last season, Howard improved in his ball handling while limiting his turnovers (3.41 per game), both of which prevented him from playing significant minutes during his first two seasons. In 2017-18, he became the floor general SU needed him to be at the top of the offense, starting in all 37 games and averaging 38.4 minutes per contest.Boeheim said last month that Howard will be “as important” this coming season as he was last year.Syracuse’s first exhibition game is Oct. 25 versus Saint Rose in the Carrier Dome. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on October 12, 2018 at 7:54 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img read more