Under first-year head coach Ray Giacoletti the Drake Bulldogs are off to a surprising 6-2 start to the 2013-14 season. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs maintaining that start became more difficult, as the school announced on Wednesday that senior guard Gary Ricks Jr. will miss the remainder of the season after fracturing a bone in his left foot.
Ricks was a starter in all eight regular season games for the Bulldogs, posting averages of 12.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and a team-best 3.6 assists in nearly 31 minutes of action per game. Shooting 49.2% from the field, 45.0% from beyond the arc and 88.9% from the charity stripe, Ricks was a more than capable sidekick for fellow senior guard Richard Carter (20.2, 4.4, 3.1).
With Ricks out of the rotation Drake will need more offensive production from senior wing Aaron Hawley (7.8 ppg) and junior wing Chris Caird (8.6) in order improve their standing within the Missouri Valley Conference. Junior guard Karl Madison (4.4, 3.0 apg), who’s averaging nearly 21 minutes per game off the bench, could see a boost in playing time as a result of Ricks’ injury.
The Missouri Valley coaches picked the Bulldogs to finish tenth in the league’s preseason poll.
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.