Broken right foot ends season for Harvard’s Kenyatta Smith

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After playing his best basketball of the 2012-13 season during a two-game stretch in which Harvard beat Penn and Princeton on consecutive nights, averaging 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 blocks per game on that weekend in mid-February, Harvard center Kenyatta Smith was able to earn more minutes in the Crimson’s front court rotation.

In Harvard’s second consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament, Smith scored ten points in each of the Crimson’s two NCAA tournament games. And even with Kyle Casey rejoining a rotation that already boasted Wesley Saunders, Steve Moundou-Missi and Jonah Travis, Smith had the potential to earn minutes in his junior campaign.

Unfortunately things didn’t work out that was for Smith, who injured his right foot just days before the Crimson began their season against Holy Cross. Smith wouldn’t see any action until he played two minutes in Harvard’s 80-50 win over Dartmouth, and there was still some hope that he could give the Crimson another interior option for the rest of the Ivy League slate.

But on Monday Smith re-injured his right foot, and as a result his 2013-14 season has come to an end. The news was first reported by The Harvard Crimson.

As a sophomore Smith averaged 5.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. And as fate should have it, the bad news for Smith comes just prior to a weekend matchup (Princeton/Penn) in which he performed so well last season.

With Casey, Saunders, Moundou-Missi, Travis and Zena Edsomwan at his disposal, head coach Tommy Amaker has multiple front court options from which to choose, with all five figuring prominently in the rotation all season long. Smith would have given Harvard yet another front court player, and his shot-blocking ability would have been a nice addition for a team that already leads the Ivy League in blocks per game (5.3).

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.