No. 9 Iowa State, days after picking up a big home win against No. 7 Baylor, fell from the ranks of the unbeaten on Saturday afternoon with an 87-82 road loss to Oklahoma.
But bigger problems for the Cyclones is senior guard DeAndre Kane, averaging 16.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game on the year, went down with an ankle injury in the game’s final minute after he drove to the bucket. Iowa State has Sunday off before hosting No. 18 Kansas, which knocked off No. 25 Kansas State on Saturday behind 22 points from Andrew Wiggins, on Monday night inside Hilton Coliseum.
Kane’s status for that game is uncertain, according to Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune.
“It’s hurting really bad,” Kane told Hines. “It’s throbbing. It’ll probably swell up on the plane ride back home. We’ll see how it feels in the next two days.
“I for sure want to play. I’ll do whatever I can to get out get out on the court with my brothers.”
UPDATE: Kane is a gametime decision for Monday night.
Iowa State can’t afford to lose Kane for any sort of time this season, and this ankle sprain comes at the worst possible time for the Cyclones. From Jan. 13-Feb. 3 Iowa State has games against KU, at Texas, vs. K-State, at Kansas, a rematch against OU and against Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.
Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.
Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.
Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).
In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.