Gorgui Dieng

Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng getting set to return

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In Louisville’s lone loss of the year – a 76-71 loss to Duke in the Battle 4 Atlantis title game – the Cardinals were without starting center Gorgui Dieng, who was sideline with a wrist injury.

Dieng was scheduled to be out for 4-6 weeks, requiring surgery to fix a broken scaphoid bone. However, the 6-foot-11 junior may be set for an early return, according to his coach, Rick Pitino.

C.L. Brown of the Courier-Journal is reporting that the cast is off his wrist and he has started to participate in individual workouts., in hopes of joining the team for Sunday’s practice. Although he is back on the floor, he is still is far needs to get back to form as Louisville’s defensive force inside. According to Brown, Dieng is favoring his left wrist, not dribbling with his left hand or even going up for block shots with it.

Dieng will not be available for Saturday’s game against Memphis and Pitino has already said Dieng will not suit up for Wednesday’s game against Florida International. However, his return could happen as soon next Saturday against Western Kentucky.

“He could play in the Western Kentucky game if he’s in shape,” said Pitino. “That’s the biggest thing, not the hand, if he’s in shape to play.”

Pitino would go onto say Dieng would likely go 15-18 minutes. This would give Dieng one game back in action before a Dec. 29 matchup with Kentucky. Dieng hasn’t played since Nov. 23 in a win against Missouri. The Cardinals’ big man injured his wrist, while trying to draw a charge. He  was averaging 8.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.4 block shots in five games for Louisville.

The Cardinals haven’t really needed Dieng since his injury, surviving an upset bid from Illinois State, followed easy wins against the College of Charleston and University of Missouir-Kansas City

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
AP Photo
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.

During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.

In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

Miller also released his apology in the same release.

“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.

For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?


Michigan State’s Tum Tum Nairn battling foot injury

Lourawls Nairn Jr.
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Michigan State has climbed on the back of star senior wing Denzel Valentine early in the season but they’ll undoubtedly need more help as the season goes on if they want to sustain their current top-5 ranking. One of the keys to the Spartans could be the on-going health of sophomore point guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, who is battling a foot injury.

According to a report from Kyle Austin of MLive.com, Nairn has been putting on a protective boot the last few months to help battle plantar fasciitis as the guard has been playing in practices and hasn’t had his minutes reduced in games.

The injury looked like it was hurting Nairn’s early-season play, but he’s been very good in two games at the Wooden Legacy in California this week, so it could be that he’s getting more used to playing through the pain of the injury.

If Nairn is healthy and capable of contributing, he’s a huge boost to Michigan State because he’s one of the fastest players in college basketball and an additional ball handler on the floor. Through six games so far this season, Nairn is averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 assists per game as he’s been one of the team’s best distributors.

Plantar fasciitis can be a tough injury to fight through, so we’ll have to see if this affects Nairn as the season goes along.