Corey Stokes has been one of the big talking points over the last couple of days since he played sparingly in the 2nd half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Jay Wright talked about Stokes' status yesterday, and it now sounds like there are some serious injury concerns.
Stokes had been battling a hamstring injury suffered against the Cincinnati Bearcats earlier this year, but reports now suggest he is also dealing with turf toe sustained in the loss to the Georgetown Hoyas.
Stokes' production has definitely seen a dip since he began battling injuries, but even still he has been a solid part of Villanova's gameplan, and had a great first half against Rutgers before succumbing to the pain of the toe injury.
The two players that will see increased time if Stokes cannot play are Dominic Cheek and James Bell. Cheek has had injury concerns of his own, while Bell has barely played lately, although he did play extremely well towards the end of the Rutgers game.
So the question is can Stokes play through the injury and be MORE effective than the combination of Cheek/Bell, or is it smarter to shut him down so that he is ready for a deep postseason run?
My thoughts: Shut him down. This team is good enough when Stokes is healthy to make some noise in March. Plus, the added experience for Cheek and Bell will reap some dividends in March as well. Plus, I think Cheek and Bell can rise to the occasion. Adrenaline alone should provide them a boost on Saturday.
What are your thoughts?