Jamelle Horne will get the start at forward for Thursday’s game against Team Georgia. The true freshman played well in the Cats’ win over Concordia and got the nod over Mohamed Tangara and Bret Brielmaier.
Tangara started the first exhibition.
The 6-7 Horne is more of a wing, but with his long arms and good vertical he can play in the post. He will play alongside sophomore Jordan Hill in the frontcourt, while Chase Budinger, Jerryd Bayless and Jawann McClellan make up the backcourt.
With Fendi Onobun sidelined until the weekend at the earliest and senior Kirk Walters battling conditioning issues, finding a second big man was a priority. Horne gives the Wildcats a more athletic look up front than the other players would.
Interim head coach Kevin O’Neill praised the shot blocking ability of the Horne/Hill combo.
Although there is no guarantee the Horne will be the starter to begin the regular season it wouldn’t be unheard of for the Cats to go with two freshman starters. Four times previously the Cats have started two or more freshmen, last doing it in 2001-02 when Salim Stoudamire, Will Bynum, Channing Frye and Isaiah Fox were all staples of the starting line-up.
The Cats also did it in 1999-00 (Jason Gardner, Gilbert Arenas and sometimes Luke Walton), 1998-99 (Richard Jefferson, Michael Wright and sometimes Ruben Douglas) and 1985-86 (Sean Elliott and Anthony Cook).
Along with Onobun, Zane Johnson will be held of action. He has a head injury that will keep him out of action until the weekend.