Wisconsin will be shorthanded for their game against No. 12 Minnesota, as head coach Bo Ryan announced on Friday that sophomore forward Frank Kaminsky would miss his third consecutive game due to an eye injury.
Kaminsky, a 6-11 forward currently averaging 10.1 minutes and 4.6 points per game, hasn’t played since suffering the injury in the Badgers’ 64-59 win at Indiana on January 15.
Wisconsin has dropped two straight games since winning in Bloomington, and with a Minnesota team that’s lost three games in a row visiting Madison Saturday’s contest represents an opportunity for the Badgers to get back on track.
Wisconsin relies on the trio of Jared Berggren, Ryan Evans and Mike Bruesewitz in the front court, with all three players averaging at least 25.9 minutes per game. But Kaminsky’s size would have been a nice asset to have against a team that ranks among the nation’s best when it comes to offensive rebounding.
Minnesota boasts an offensive rebounding percentage of 48%, a number which leads the country. However Wisconsin’s done a very good job of keeping opponents off the glass, as they’re allowing teams to rebound just over 26% of their missed shots.
In losses to Indiana and Michigan, Minnesota struggled defensively as both the Hoosiers and Wolverines shot better than 50% from the field. Yet in their loss to Northwestern it was the offense that let the Golden Gophers down, as they shot 33.3% from the field and 5-of-19 from beyond the arc.
Wisconsin is allowing opponents to shoot 40% from the field on the season, and they’ve won 14 of the last 15 meetings in Madison.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.
The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.