GWINNETT - The Georgia men's basketball team will be without a designated walk-on this season because the player was injured when a bomb went off.
Yes, when a bomb went off.
Dusan Langura is a native of Switzerland, and the explosion occured when he was serving a required military commitment back home, according to head coach Mark Fox. One of the injuries was an ACL tear.
"It really is a unique story," Fox said, in a slight understatement. "He was injured in the explosion, and one of the injuries was a torn ACL. We had committed to have him come. He can really shoot the ball. He was gonna be on our team. He had to serve his military commitment, and this happened during it. We're still gonna honor our commitment to him, and once he gets healthy he'll be out there with us. But he probably won't be cleared to practice until January or February."
Langura played last season at Furtah Prep, a GISA school in Acworth. He has a bio on the Georgia web site, thanks to his status as a preferred walk-on.
Some other notes from Fox, who met the media prior to his appearance at the final UGA Day event:
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been working out "a lot" in Athens since being drafted. Caldwell-Pope was the eighth overall pick by the Detroit Pistons, and has mostly been working with Kent Davison, Georgia's director of basketball operations. Another former Georgia guard, Gerald Robinson, has also been working out in Athens.
- Speaking of Robinson, Fox made a favorable comparison between his speedy former point guard and incoming freshman J.J. Frazier. Robinson is about five inches taller, but Frazier is a better ball-handler.
- Junior forward Marcus Thornton, who has battled chronic knee problems, is looking a lot better. Thornton recently went 40 inches on a vertical jump, and was cleared to return to practice.
"We've gotta get him in practice, we've gotta get him in game shape. But he's healthy to start doing everything," Fox said. "He's really had a good summer, and his workouts have been really good."
- Vanderbilt lost a key player on Monday when Kevin Bright signed with a pro team in Germany. Fox was asked if he ever worried that one of his players, junior forward Nemanja Djurisic, would be pried away by a team in Europe.
"In the back of your mind you worry about (it). But he is really committed to getting educated," Fox said, adding that Djurisic went home to Montenegro for nearly two months after the school year ended. "But I never worried that Nemi wasn't gonna come back. He's really been a good student."