Big Ten M5: 12.20.12 Edition

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on December 20th, 2012


  1. The injury bug has bitten Indiana’s Maurice Creek again. After averaging 16.4 PPG as a freshman in Bloomington, Creek has been plagued by injuries ever since. He missed most of his sophomore season due to an injury and the entire 2011-12 season with a torn Achilles, and now he is out indefinitely with a foot injury. The 6’5″ wing can’t seem to catch a break with his health issues. Even though he has only averaged 11 MPG and 3.0 PPG this season, he still enjoyed being back in action and wanted to be a part of a special season. The extent of his injury has not been announced yet, but it will be tough for him to come back completely healthy and pick up immediately where he left off on a very talented roster.
  2. Continuing with the injury news, Purdue freshman forward Jay Simpson will be out for rest of the season with a foot injury as well. The 6’9″ forward has dealt with a “lingering” injury through 10 games but will sit out because his rehab efforts have not paid off. Simpson has averaged 2.6 PPG during his 7.6 MPG for the Boilers so far this season. Matt Painter wants to make sure that his injury “won’t be a factor down the road” but will be down one freshman out of the class of six for the rest of the year. The freshman will apply for a medical hardship waiver and may be granted an extra year of eligibility which could pay off down the road. The injury won’t hurt Painter’s team significantly this season as it is essentially understood that the Boilers are going through a rebuilding year.
  3. Michigan forward Jon Horford may not need surgery after dislocating his kneecap during the Wolverines’ 81-66 win against West Virginia over the weekend. According to the Michigan coaching staff, “the lack of news is good news,” as they are hoping that Horford will return back into the rotation to contribute in the frontcourt. During his absence, redshirt freshman Max Bielfeldt will take his spot off the bench as the third big man on the roster. The 6’7″ forward has only played 6.2 MPG but will need to fill the void for a few more weeks until Horford gets back to game shape. Horford injured the same knee during the offseason but has provided great energy off the bench so far this season.
  4. Injuries can hurt a college basketball program but they could also have a positive effect in the long run because it presents opportunities for younger players in the program to shine. Penn State’s Tim Frazier is out for the season but his injury could pay dividends for the Nittany Lions over the long run because other players such as Jermaine Marshall (15.1 PPG) and Ross Travis (8.2 PPG) are forced to learn the game and step up into a leadership role. Penn State had a “go-to guy” over the last few seasons in Talor Battle and Frazier, but without a star offensive player now, they will be forced to rely on multiple players to compete this season. As a result, these younger players’ experiences will help them next season if Frazier comes back for his final year.
  5. Tom Izzo’s Spartans have been flying under the radar after being in the news during the first two weeks of the season because of their big games against Kansas and Connecticut. Izzo was not very impressed with his team but is now satisfied because they showed “grit” during their first road win against Bowling Green. Branden Dawson looked good in scoring 10 points and pulling down seven boards on the road, but Izzo still hasn’t found a consistent rotation without any health issues as Gary Harris and Travis Trice have been sidelined with injuries several games this season. They have a chance to field a healthy team against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday afternoon and could end the non-conference season with a 11-2 record.
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