University of Evansville men’s basketball coach Marty Simmons said Tuesday that Rokas Cesnulevicius has been cleared to participate fully in workouts following a June all-terrain vehicle crash.
“He’s not restricted at all,” Simmons said of the sophomore forward, who broke his jaw in the ATV accident and required surgery.
Cesnulevicius’ clearance marks a clean bill of health for the Aces, something Simmons’ team hasn’t experienced since before sophomore forward Jordan Jahr broke his foot at the beginning of last season.
In addition to full health, Simmons has a full roster heading into the 2012-2013 season. Coaches filled their 13th and final scholarship when Lithuanian big man Egidijus Mockevicius signed in August, and Evansville will have three walk-ons.
“We really would like to be able to do that each and every year, but circumstances have dictated otherwise,” Simmons said. “This will be one of the larger groups we’ve had in our six years here. I think that’s a really good thing to be able to do different things practice-wise with splitting up guys that we haven’t had the luxury to do in the past.”
Division I men’s basketball programs start official practices on Oct. 12. In the meantime, the Aces can stage limited full-squad basketball activity along with open gym sessions where coaches aren’t present.
Simmons said he’s seen “a lot of energy – lot of effort” early in the team workouts.
“But we’ve got a long way to go from an execution standpoint,” he said. “I like our effort and intensity, but we’ve looked sloppy. Those are some of the things you deal with when you go from open gyms or pickup games to a more structured and disciplined environment, but that’s why we practice.”
Evansville plays its first exhibition Oct. 27 against the University of Southern Indiana and starts the regular season Nov. 10 at Notre Dame.