After playing sparingly during his three seasons at Indiana (redshirting as a sophomore), Austin Etherington will have the opportunity to earn immediate playing time as a graduate transfer at Butler. Unfortunately for the 6-foot-6 forward and head coach Brandon Miller, the process of working towards that this offseason has hit a snag.
Friday afternoon the school announced that Etherington will be sidelined anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks after undergoing foot surgery.
“It’s a tough blow for Austin, but we’re glad that the surgery went well,” Miller said in the release. “He’s overcome adversity in the past, and we’re confident that he will make a full recovery. We’re looking forward to his return, and we’re excited about the contribution he’ll make to our program this season.”
Etherington played in just seven games as a sophomore at Indiana due to a torn ACL, leading to the granting of a medical redshirt for that season. He’s one of two transfers to join the program this offseason, with former NC State point guard Tyler Lewis being the other (Lewis will have to sit out the 2014-15 season).
In total Butler adds five newcomers and welcomes back Roosevelt Jones, who sat out all of last season with a wrist injury.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: