Forget Cancun. Kyle Odister is spending spring break booking a resort of another kind.
As in “last.”
Six months after determining that an ankle injury would force him to miss the entire season, the Cal Poly men’s basketball team’s sophomore guard said he is scheduled to undergo surgery today.
It was a possibility last fall, but the preferred option was to avoid a surgical procedure in favor of less invasive treatments after tests were inconclusive.
When Odister attempted an unsuccessful return to practice late in the year, it became clear that rest and massage were not the solution.
And the former Big West Conference all-freshman honoree is having his timetable for a return pushed back once again.
Mustangs head coach Joe Callero, who also got word that top assistant Mark Amaral was leaving for Pepperdine, looked to Thursday’s stormy skies for a silver lining.
“The good news about it is he didn’t have to have any pins put in his foot,” Callero said. “He was able to get out of surgery with minimal additional clean-up stuff instead of having to put reinforcements in.”
Estimates have Odister’s recovery time between six and 12 weeks, and then he would have to be re-evaluated. That makes him questionable to return in time for the team’s international tour through Costa Rica in August.
Odister shot 45.5 percent from 3-point range and averaged 7.8 points per game as a true freshman in 2009-2010. He scored a career-high 23 points in a victory over UC Irvine.
Point guard Amaurys Fermin, who also sat out this season after tearing his ACL in preseason workouts, has not had any setbacks with his knee surgery, and Callero said Fermin could be cleared to play with no restrictions by August 1. In the best-case scenario, both would be back before the team leaves for Costa Rica in the middle of the month.
If not, two others have emerged as candidates to take minutes at guard.
Incoming freshman Reese Morgan averaged 27.3 points per game while leading Palos Verdes Peninsula High to the CIF Southern California Division II Regional Semifinals.
Morgan had three games scoring more than 40 points, had a 54-point scoring game during his senior season and figures to receive immediate playing time at shooting guard.
Another option is former Morro Bay High standout Dylan Royer, a returning junior who came alive in the second half of the Mustangs’ season-ending 70-66 loss in the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament. Royer went 4 of 5 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 14 points, including a layup that gave Cal Poly a 66-65 lead with 34 seconds left.
“One of the things we feel better about is the signing of Reese Morgan,” Callero said. “We have a bit of an insurance policy with that and the development of Dylan Royer. Dylan gave us another knock-down, pure shooter.
“There wouldn’t be a guy in our gym that would not pick Dylan in a horse competition, but as he’s been here, he’s had to overcome the speed, the quickness, the length of the game, and find your spot and find your confidence.”
Amaral, who became Callero’s top assistant when he took over at Cal Poly in 2009, is leaving to become the associate head coach at Pepperdine.
Amaral was an assistant alongside first-year Waves head coach Marty Wilson during a seven-year stint at UC Santa Barbara (2000-2007).
Helping the Mustangs make a two-year turnaround from last place to second in the Big West, Amaral was also the associate head coach at Cal Poly.
“Mark is really the kind of veteran assistant that knows a lot of offense and defense and recruiting,” Callero said. “There’s not an area of the game he can’t talk to the team about. So, every time I’m gone, he covers everything.”
Callero hasn’t immediately identified Amaral’s replacement but said that a priority was to retain the rest of his staff. Assistants Mitch Freeman and Omar Lowery have each been at Cal Poly the past two seasons, as has director of basketball operations Mitch Reaves.
“We have a great staff,” Callero said. “I’ve been saying that for two years. Part of success is surrounding yourself with quality people.”