Josh Oglesby, Devyn Marble

Broken foot to sideline Iowa’s Josh Oglesby four to six weeks

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Iowa’s going to be without one of their perimeter options when they open the regular season Friday, as junior guard Josh Oglesby is expected to be out anywhere from four to six weeks after breaking a bone in his right foot in practice on Wednesday. Oglesby averaged 4.5 points per game in 37 contests last season.

This is the second medical issue that has come up for the Hawkeyes within the last week, with sophomore guard Anthony Clemmons sitting out an exhibition game due to an ankle injury.

“Josh has played great in preseason practices and this is an unfortunate setback,” head coach Fran McCaffery said in the release. “We expect Josh to make a full recovery and look forward to him returning in time for conference play.”

But the good news for Fran McCaffery is that he’s got both depth and experience when it comes to accounting for Oglesby’s absence according to Rick Brown of the Des Moines Register.

Oglesby was slated to back up Mike Gesell at the second guard. Oglesby’s absence could give freshman Peter Jok increased minutes at that position. McCaffery has several versatile players — most notably Jarrod Uthoff — who could also see time at that position. Starting point guard Devyn Marble also has experience at second guard.

After reaching the title game of the Postseason NIT last season, Iowa’s a team many expect to at the very least be in the conversation for an NCAA tournament bid. With Devyn Marble (15.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg) and Aaron White (12.8, 6.2) back to lead the way, anything less than a return to the NCAA tournament would be viewed as a disappointment.

Iowa hosts UNC Wilmington on Friday, and they’ll play games against Xavier (as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis) and Notre Dame (Big Ten/ACC Challenge) in the first four weeks of the season.

Louisville backcourt struggles in first scrimmage

Quentin Snider, Jerian Grant
Associated Press
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While a few teams did manage to hold special events for the official start of practice this weekend, most simply went about their business with drills and conditioning. One team that was the exception to all of this was Louisville, which held the first of its two intersquad scrimmages on Saturday. The Cardinals had a head start of sorts on the season, as they played six exhibition games in Puerto Rico this summer.

One hope heading into Saturday’s scrimmage was that guards Trey Lewis and Quentin Snider would have better chemistry than they did in Puerto Rico. But according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal, that remains a work in progress for the Cleveland State transfer (Lewis) and rising sophomore (Snider).

They struggled in Puerto Rico, and they struggled again in Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage, the first public intrasquad practice since August. They played one half of the game together, paired with the presumed starting lineup with Mangok Mathiang out with an eye injury, a group that also included Damion Lee, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku.

That team lost the first half by 13 points to a younger group of Louisville players, and Lewis and Snider combined for eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, five turnovers, five steals, four assists and three rebounds.

“I thought (Snider) and (Lewis) did not play well together,” U of L coach Rick Pitino said. “They’ve got to get used to that. Neither guy made other guys better. That’s what they need to learn to do.”

As Greer also noted in his story the Cardinals have in recent years employed backcourt tandems in which both guards are capable of making plays for themselves and others. On the 2013 national champion team Peyton Siva and Russ Smith led the way, with Smith being joined by Terry Rozier or Chris Jones the following season and Rozier/Jones being the grouping last season before the latter was dismissed from the team.

Once Jones was dismissed Snider saw more time on the court, and his development was one of the keys for a Louisville team that fell one win short of the Final Four. Louisville needs him to take another step forward heading into the 2015-16 season, because even with Lewis’ experience at the Division I level Snider has more experience playing in Pitino’s system.

But while Saturday’s scrimmage didn’t go as well as anyone involved hoped, there’s still plenty of time for Louisville to work out the kinks before they open the season November 13 against Samford.

Knee injury sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
Associated Press
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.