After losing Logan Aronhalt (transferred to Maryland) and the high-scoring Gerardo Suero (21.6 ppg) from last season’s 19-win team, the Albany Great Danes had room in their perimeter rotation for the seldom-used Tanner Gibson to earn some playing time.
But that wasn’t in the cards for Gibson this season, as a stress fracture in his left foot that’s been an issue since the spring prohibited him from taking part in any basketball activities.
Thursday head coach Will Brown announced the decision to shut Gibson down for the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign, and what makes it worse is the fact that Brown doesn’t even know if Gibson will be able to play again.
“I am sure he is upset by this,” said Brown, who added he did not have to announce Gibson as a medical redshirt right now. “You just don’t know if he will ever heal or will ever be able to play again. It just stinks for the kid because he is a great kid and a hard worker.”
Gibson played in 24 of Albany’s 34 games last season, averaging 5.1 minutes and 0.8 points per game. The foot, which he originally injured in high school, began to give him issues after the season and the various treatment strategies haven’t solved the problem.
With guards Mike Black and Jacob Iati leading the way the Great Danes have been one of the best teams in America East, as they currently have a 13-4 record (2-1 America East) and are capable of being a contender for the league’s NCAA tournament bid.
But regardless of how small Gibson’s role could have been with this group it would have been nice for him to at the very least be healthy enough for the ride. Gibson will be on the bench for both home and away games and while he may be able to gain some solace from being with his teammates it simply isn’t the same.
Now it’s not only a matter of the foot injury ruling him out this season but also the possibility of not being able to play again, and that’s a terrible prospect to have to deal with.
Photo credit: University at Albany Athletics
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.