Jacob Polakovich plans return to men’s basketball in December

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Photo by Quinton Watt

Jacob Polokovich, senior forward, hangs out with the men’s basketball team during Media Day Oct. 4 in the Screaming Eagles Arena.

Quinton Watt, Sports Editor

Jacob Polakovich, senior forward, has been out of basketball play for a few months with a Jones foot fracture. Polaokovich plans on returning to the court Dec. 11 against Indiana State University in the Screaming Eagles Arena.

Polakovich is a returning player from the 18-8 2021-2022 team. He finished the season averaging a double-double with 11.5 points per game and 11.3 rebounds per game.

The real question is if Polakovich is going to have a starting spot when he returns. With the additions of Kiyron Powell and Nick Hittle, sophomore forward, Polakovich will have to battle for the five spot.

“You know, as the coach, I have to make sure we adjust to put guys in the proper situation, injuries are part of the game,” said Stan Gouard, head coach of men’s basketball. “We’re going with a next man up mentality.”

On Feb. 7, the Board of Trustees voted to transition university athletics from Division II to Division I making the 2022-2023 basketball season the first USI Division I basketball season. “I think it’s a great opportunity not only for our program, but for the university as well,” Polakovich said. “It’s really cool to kind of be a part of the history like that, and it’s super exciting for me.”

Polakovich said the new season excites him and so do the new transfer players on the team. He said he was especially excited to be reunited with former Indianapolis teammate, Trevor Lakes.

“I feel like I had some unfinished business with Trevor, but we couldn’t finish it out because of COVID,” Polakovich said. “I’ve known him for so long, and we’ve been close for so long. He’s a guy who can come in and help us be very good.”

Lakes is not the only transfer Polakovich mentioned. Kiyron Powell, freshman center, was another notable addition.

“He’s another one of those guys that can come in and make an immediate impact for us,” Polakovich said. “He’s gonna come in and block a lot of shots, and I think he’s only going to get better as he gets older.”

The Eagles won their exhibition match Wednesday 85 – 50 vs. Midway University in the Screaming Eagles Arena.

For more information on the men’s basketball schedule, click here.