Men's Basketball

Coleman returns to court in Syracuse’s win over Virginia Tech

Courtesy of Syracuse Media Group

DaJuan Coleman prepares to check in during Syracuse's 72-52 win against Virginia Tech on Tuesday. Coleman did not play in SU's last two games before subbing in with 3:27 left against the Hokies.

BLACKSBURG, Va. — DaJuan Coleman patiently waited by the scorer’s table. He’d waited almost three full games for a chance to get back on the court, so what were a couple more minutes?

“It was annoying, but I just used that extra couple minutes to stretch out, make sure I’m nice and stretched so I can get in there and be ready to play,” the forward said.

Coleman was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game on Tuesday, a 72-52 win against Virginia Tech (8-5, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) in No. 2 Syracuse’s (15-0, 2-0) first Atlantic Coast Conference road game. Coleman was once again active and this time got onto the floor with 3:27 remaining.

It was garbage time, but it was still minutes.

“It felt good,” Coleman said. “After a whole week of treatment and different stuff, my knee is better and better every day.”

Jerami Grant made his third straight start at forward in place of the injured Coleman and Rakeem Christmas slid into the middle of the Orange’s zone.

Coleman was a full participant in warm-ups before the game, but wore a knee brace on his left leg.

Jim Boeheim had called the sophomore a game-time decision during the ACC coaches’ teleconference on Monday, but said after the game that Coleman practiced on Monday. After that, the head coach had determined that he was healthy enough to get some time late in the game.

“He’s been better in practice, but I didn’t want to go early with him,” Boeheim said. “I wanted to give him a chance there to see how he felt. He said it felt good. I think he needs a couple days of practice and then we’ll see how he responds to that.”

Coleman started the first 12 games of the season, but hadn’t played since injuring his knee against then-No. 8 Villanova on Dec. 28. He’s averaging 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 13 minutes per game.

Boeheim didn’t say that Coleman will be ready for more significant minutes against North Carolina on Saturday, but with a few more days of practice Coleman expects to be ready.

“I only had two days of practice. I want to get like a full week of practice,” Coleman said. “That will be Friday.”

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