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Louisville’s injury luck just sucks last two seasons

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source: AP

This injury news must seem a little too familiar to Louisville.

The Cardinals spent last season adjusting to various injuries to nearly the entire roster, the most notable being starting forward Jared Swopshire, who sat out the whole year. The result was an overachieving season (25-10, 13-6 in Big East), but a tough ending.

Is 2011-12 more of the same?

Prize recruit Wayne Blackshear – who was expected to start on the wing – will miss the season due to a torn labrum. Forward Rakeem Buckles – another likely starter – is still rehabbing from a torn ACL and won’t be ready until mid-December at the earliest.

Throw in nagging injuries to three other players and a still-recovering Swopshire and Louisville’s essentially back to where it was last season – solid in its starting five, but without much depth.

“That starting five, they’re ready to go, especially at the offensive standpoint,” coach Rick Pitino said. “The next five, it’s been very difficult getting them ready.”

Coming on the heels of not receiving a Big 12 invite, Cardinals fans are more than a little miffed at the news. Who wouldn’t?

Blackshear, a 5-star recruit who averaged more than 32 points a game as a high school senior, was the likely candidate to assume some the scoring needed by Preston Knowles’ graduation. Pitino has high praise for one of his other newcomers, freshman Chane Behanon, but the depth has to be an issue.

Until Buckles is back and healthy and Swopshire’s in playing shape, Louisville will probably be over-dependent on guard Peyton Siva and its outside shooters – Kyle Kuric, Chris Smith and Mike Marra. It’s still a squad capable of reaching the Final Four, but their margin for error just got smaller.

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Iowa State’s starting center Jameel McKay remains suspended

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay celebrates on the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 82-77. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.

“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”

McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.

“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.

AP POLL: Villanova climbs to No. 1 in the country.

Jay Wright
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.

And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.

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The biggest shock to me?

The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.

They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.

Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?

Here is the rest of the AP Poll:

1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)

DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas