Dec. 13, 2004
Injuries are an aspect of college basketball that can really take a toll. Three recent injuries stand out to me and could really affect the teams involved.
Coach Tommy Amaker's team doctors have been busy at Michigan. Lester Abram has been sidelined with a shoulder injury that will likely leave him out for the rest of the season. Forward Graham Brown may miss up to six weeks following hernia surgery.
Then came word that the team's quarterback on the court, point guard Daniel Horton, one of the most valuable players in the Big Ten, will probably miss a month after suffering a knee injury in practice. The partial ligament sprain leaves Amaker hurting for healthy bodies.
Michigan is going with an inexperienced lineup and fighting for W's. Hopefully Horton will not miss too much of the Big Ten season. Amaker clearly needs him on the court.
Out West, coach Mark Few's Gonzaga team received bad news when long-range bomber Nathan Doudney suffered a torn ACL in his left knee, sidelining him for the rest of the season.
Gonzaga doesn't have the same depth it had last season, so this is a blow. I feel bad for Doudney, who worked so hard after sitting out last season following his transfer from Texas Tech.
As if Purdue coach Gene Keady needed more bad news, forward Matt Kiefer injured his knee in practice. He was averaging 12.5 points per game for the 1-5 Boilermakers. It has been a rough start for Keady in his final season at West Lafayette, and this is just another setback.
How do teams handle injury news? They have to make adjustments and move on, doing the best they can when playing shorthanded.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.