Given how hard they’ve been hit by injuries this season, it’s amazing that the Utah State Aggies are 19-8 overall. And in their 84-61 loss at No. 25 Louisiana Tech on Thursday night the Aggies saw another key player go down with an injury.
Junior guard Spencer Butterfield injured his right hip in the second half of Thursday’s game, falling awkwardly to the floor and re-aggravating an injury that he suffered earlier in the season.
The injury was bad enough that Butterfield was unable to get off the court under his own power, and team trainers needed to carry him to the locker room as well.
“He is in a ton of pain,” coach Stew Morrill said after the game. “They are taking him to the emergency room. He has had a hip problem he has been playing through and was going to fix it after the season.”
Butterfield has missed just one of Utah State’s 27 games this season, averaging 12.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. And with him going down, how much does Utah State have left in the tank with three regular season games and the WAC tournament remaining (and possibly postseason play to follow)?
Danny Berger went into cardiac arrest during a December practice, leading scorer Preston Medlin (fractured wrist) and Kyisean Reed (torn ACL) suffered their injuries in the same game and junior college transfer Sean Harris was ruled out before the season even began due to a knee injury.
Now Butterfield goes down (for an undetermined amount of time), and the lack of bodies late forced Morrill to burn the redshirt of walk-on guard Conner Garner after Marcel Davis fouled out Thursday night.
Utah State has seen three of their top four scorers suffer injuries this season, and if Butterfield is unable to go Saturday at UT-Arlington (Morrill didn’t sound too confident in him being able to go) that would leave forward Jarred Shaw (14.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg) as their lone double-digit scorer.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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.
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.
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