Syracuse v Marquette

Quadriceps issue leads to slower recovery than Steve Taylor Jr. hoped for

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When it was announced in early May that Marquette rising sophomore forward Steve Taylor Jr. had undergone a surgical procedure to remove a benign growth from his right knee, the expectation from the school was that his recovery would take anywhere from three to four months.

Of course most athletes hope to recover at a rate that allows them to return to the court ahead of time, and that was no different for Taylor. But according to Andrei Greska of Paint Touches, Taylor’s quest to return to full strength hit a bump in the road due to atrophy of his right quadriceps muscle.

According to Greska the hope now for Taylor is to be back at full strength by August 25, which is when the team is due back on campus for the start of the fall semester.

“I’ve been lifting with the team (on upper body) every time we lift,” the Chicago native said. “I’ve been doing some lower body work like squats and stuff like that, but I don’t squat as heavy as the team.”

For now, Taylor will continue his rehab process in hopes of being back to full strength by the time Marquette begins its school year, within the 3-4 month time frame given back in May.

“I’m hoping to be back to full strength when we come back to school on August 25th,” he said. ”Hopefully I’m cleared to do full practices by then.”

The Simeon HS product didn’t see a great amount of playing time as a freshman, averaging just 8.6 minutes per game (3.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg), but one area in which he took full advantage of his minutes was on the offensive glass.

Marquette’s biggest personnel losses came on the perimeter, with point guard Junior Cadougan graduating and Vander Blue leaving school a year early to enter the 2013 NBA Draft.

With the returns of centers Davante Gardner and Chris Otule and forward Jamil Wilson, as well as the arrival of highly touted junior college transfer Jameel McKay, one of the nation’s best offensive rebounding teams in 2012-13 (18th in offensive rebounding percentage) could be even better in 2013-14.

How much of a factor could Taylor potentially be for Marquette, which will be one of the early favorites in the Big East? That will depend upon whether or not he’s back to full strength when classes begin. If so, head coach Buzz Williams and his staff can use those weeks before the official start of practices for skill work, as opposed to having to focus on Taylor’s rehab.

Rick Pitino: ‘We should be penalized … but not this team’

Rick Pitino
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.

Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.

How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?

Well, it seems.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.

And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.

“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”

He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.

But credit the Cardinals for responding.

Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.

Oklahoma State without Jawun Evans, questionable moving forward

Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans (1) goes up for a shot between Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) and forward Perry Ellis (34) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. Oklahoma State won 86-67. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.

Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.

According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.

Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.