To say the least it was not a good weekend for Louisville fans in regards to news about key players and wrist injuries.
On Saturday it was starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater who broke his left wrist, and on Sunday night it was announced by the program that the basketball team will be without an important player for the foreseeable future.
Starting center Gorgui Dieng, who sat out the Cardinals’ loss to Duke in the Battle 4 Atlantis title game with the wrist injury, broke the scaphoid bone in his left wrist taking a charge in Friday’s semifinal against Missouri.
According to the school release Dieng will see a hand specialist on Monday, and he’ll determine the timeframe of Dieng’s recovery.
Dieng, who was on the preseason lists for both the Wooden and Naismith awards, is averaging 8.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest for the 5-1 Cardinals, who are off until Saturday when they host Illinois State.
Losing their best interior defender is a tough blow for the Cardinals, especially if Dieng were to be out until the start of Big East play. Louisville still has non-conference games against Memphis (December 15) and Kentucky (December 29), and that December 4 contest against College of Charleston shouldn’t be overlooked either.
But Rick Pitino isn’t lacking for depth. Chane Behanan, Montrezl Harrell and Stephen Van Treese all saw action in the Bahamas, and now they’ll be asked to do more. If they’re ready for more responsibility the Cardinals should be in good shape, especially when considering perimeter weapons such as Peyton Siva and Russ Smith.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.
The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.
The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.
[MORE RANKINGS: NBCSports.com top 25 | Coaches Poll]
It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.
Anyway, here is the full poll:
1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
5. Iowa State
9. North Carolina
18. Texas A&M
20. West Virginia
NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville
DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State