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Guys on bench rejoice, as well

‘It’s nothing but positive,’ says senior Nick Minnerath, out for the year with a torn ACL

By Michael Martinez
On March 14, 2012

 

There's no doubt UDM's league title meant a lot to star players like Ray McCallum and Eli Holman. But the championship means just as much-if not more-to those at the other end of the Titan bench.

Nick Minnerath is arguably UDM's most versatile player. But the senior's season was cut abruptly short in November when he tore his ACL.

He was forced to watch Detroit win the championship from the sidelines but he's not bitter.

He's not upset about his twice-a-day, five-day-a-week rehab schedule, either.

He's just enjoying the moment-and waiting for his own.

"It's nothing but positive," he said of his thoughts. "No question it's been the hardest year of my life but you can't look back on it. I'm getting healthy and I'll be ready for next year."

P.J. Boutte, a freshman guard on the fringe of coach Ray McCallum's rotation, said he's also patiently waiting for his time.

"I feel whenever my time comes I'm going to capitalize," he said. "Whatever coach wants me to do I'm going to do it, whether that's playing one minute or 30 minutes. Whenever I get out there I'm going to give it my all."

Boutte faced off-the-court troubles after an October arrest in Ann Arbor, but said the hardships just made UDM's championship feel that much better.

"It means a lot," he said. "Coming through this year going through the bad stuff and getting through it and my team being there, it's special."

Boutte said Detroit's practices have been very intense and he tries to put a lot of effort into them.

"Practice is harder than the game," he said. "We're going hard at each other every day and we're making each other better. Practice is key."

Although Minnerath can't practice, he said he tries to serve as a mentor on the bench during games.

"I try to do that," he said. "It's hard in the emotion of the game to listen but you have to be there for the guys that are playing knowing they'd be doing the same for you."

Minnerath said he's trying to build muscle around his knee with leg presses and other exercises and hopes to be jogging within a month.

He also hopes to continue to watch his team win.

"It's been unbelievable," he said. "It's been great for the guys who are playing and I can't wait to do it next year."


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