Alonzo Sule’s inspired play off the bench sparks Texas State

When the Texas State University basketball team started working out earlier this fall, a series of ankle injuries kept redshirt freshman forward Alonzo Sule off the floor.

Sule would sit out for a few days each time until, one day, Bobcats coach Danny Kaspar summoned him for a chat.

“When you get hurt,” Kaspar told him, “you can’t help me and I can’t help you.”

With his injury woes in the past, Sule has started to help Kaspar and the Bobcats in a big way.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Africa has exploded for 45 points off the bench in his last two games.

More impressively, in scoring 22 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and 23 against Houston Baptist, Sule has hit 19 of 21 shots from the floor.

“Almost seems like a light switch just flipped on,” Kaspar said.

As Texas State prepares for a road test Saturday at UT Rio Grande Valley, Sule said it feels great to contribute to the team, its 9-1 record and its seven-game winning streak.

“It’s very exciting,” he said. “Really, winning is the most important thing. It’s been a good experience. I’m just feeling more comfortable in the system.”

Growing up in Cameroon, Sule moved to Texas, where he played his last two seasons of high school at Katy Cinco Ranch in the Houston area.

He said he talked to Brown in the Ivy League and also to A&M-Corpus Christi and UT Rio Grande Valley.

But he eventually settled on Texas State, where he sat out last year as a redshirt.

As this season started, Sule was not playing a major role for the Bobcats. At times, it seemed that for every play he made, he was also called for a foul.

Sule racked up 14 fouls in 52 minutes in his first five games.

“Playing defense without fouling is big,” Sule said. “I feel like I’ve gotten better at that. But it was frustrating (at first). I’d come in, and I’d foul.”

In Texas State’s last three games, Sule has come off the bench to wreak havoc on the offensive glass, pulling down nine offensive rebounds in that span.

In the best game of his burgeoning college career, Sule torched HBU last Saturday in San Marcos with career highs in points (23) and rebounds (10).

“I’ve been given an opportunity,” he said. “So, now, I’m just trying to take advantage of it.”