February 27, 2013
Some good news on the injury front for Memphis, and it comes in time for the stretch run.
According to a report from Jon Rothstein, guard Antonio Barton's broken right foot is out of a walking boot and he could be ready for the Conference USA Tournament, said Tigers' coach Josh Pastner.
Barton, a 6-2 junior, has missed the last four games after injuring the foot in the early minutes of the Tigers' 89-76 victory at Southern Miss. He's averaging 6.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists so far this season.
Memphis guard Antonio Barton is no longer in a boot or using crutches and could return for the Conference-USA Tournament, per Josh Pastner..— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 25, 2013
It's a bit of good news for Memphis, who haven't sorely missed Barton in his absence. They've won all four games he's missed and scored at least 80 points in three of them, including a 93-71 route of UCF in the game after Barton went down.
Where they have been missing him is at the defensive end. He averages a steal per game and is tasked with guarding the top or second-best guard for the opposition when he's healthy. They haven't had much of an issue with that recently, but will need him when they get into the NCAA Tournament.
Every team wants to be healthy entering the postseason, when the legs get weary and fatigue becomes a major issue. Depth matters more. Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford are performing well and Barton will just be a welcome piece coming back into the fold for a team that could be the lone bid out of C-USA.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten