Brooks Could be Available Sunday

PSU coach Ed DeChellis said his top forward is recovering quickly from a shoulder separation. Brooks is still listed as day to day, though.

Penn State forward Jeff Brooks dislocated his right shoulder in Tuesday's loss at Illinois.

X-rays taken Thursday morning revealed no substantial damage to the joint or bones. Even though the Nittany Lions' second-leading scorer and top rebounder sat out of practice Thursday, head coach Ed DeChellis said there is a chance Brooks will be back for PSU's Super Bowl Sunday game against Michigan.

“I would say he's more day to day,” DeChellis said. “Jeff is a great athlete, and sometimes great athletes can heal a little quicker than some other guys. We're hoping for the best, but he's still in a day-to-day situation.”

Just to be safe, DeChellis and his staff began tinkering with more three-guard sets in practice yesterday. If Brooks can't go, the only remaining options in the frontcourt are struggling redshirt freshman Billy Oliver and 6-foot-5 walk-on Steve Kirkpatrick.

True freshman Jonathan Graham is redshirting and sophomore Sasa Borovnjak is recovering from a torn ACL sustained in the preseason.

Asked about going with a three-guard look, DeChellis said, “Yeah, we'll do that some today. We did it a little bit yesterday in practice. (We'll) play three guards in practice until Jeff gets back … because we have some more bodies out there.”

Cammeron Woodyard, Jermaine Marshall and Tre Bowman have been battling to be PSU's first guard off the bench since rookie Taran Buie was suspended from the team for disciplinary reasons after 11 games.

It is not clear when or if Buie will return.

Meanwhile, DeChellis would love to get more out the 6-8 Oliver, who has made only 2 of 13 3-pointers in the Big Ten. Oliver actually has significantly more fouls (23) than points (18) or rebounds (14) in conference play.

Pressed into extra duty when Brooks was hurt in the first half of Tuesday's game, Oliver made only 1 of 5 3-pointers and shot a pair of air balls.

“He's thinking too much,” DeChellis said. “… We're trying to get him to relax and be himself. Some days in the gym he doesn't miss a shot, which is frustrating because it doesn't carry over to the games.”

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