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CBB Injuries

How will Auburn deal with the loss of Anfernee McLemore

Hale Thornhill-Wilson

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© Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Last Saturday’s matchup on the hardwood between Auburn and South Carolina will be remembered as more than just an upset for South Carolina. The reason for this, was due to a graphic, broken ankle injury sustained by Auburn forward, Anfernee McLemore, with just about 1:20 remaining in the first half. McLemore was attempting to box out on a defensive rebound but was unfortunately undercut by a teammate while doing so. Moments after, he was grimacing in pain while his teammates had looks depicting shock and disbelief. His ankle was bent at quite the discouraging angle as he screamed in pain. Unfortunately, a stretcher was required to assist him off the court.

Ironically, the gruesomeness of the ankle misplacement overshadows the somewhat short recovery time of three to four months. A more severe injury like an ACL or Archilles typically requires a much longer time of recovery at around nine months to a year but the tear is hidden from the regular viewer. A common side effect which plays a role in recovery is consistent swelling. Once the swelling is down, it will be crucial to have fresh blood flow through the injured area to heal it quicker. Re-strengthening the ligaments surrounding the ankle to support all vertical and horizontal movements is also another crucial step to getting him back on the floor sooner rather than later.

Already known for being one of the smallest teams in the country, Auburn’s road to the tournament will be much more bumpy. Even though strong guard play and shooting are the strengths of the offense, McLemore was able to provide more opportunities for the team with offensive/defensive rebounding and playing stout defense. He was the 3rd leading rebounder, leading shot blocker, and was able to space the floor a little from three point range. All of his responsibilities will be rested on the shoulders of forwards Horace Spencer and Chuma Okeke. It will be crucial they don’t get in foul trouble and provide positive production.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hale played basketball competitively at renowned Loyola High School all four years. Currently, he's a sophomore at Duke University with future aspirations of working on the sports management side of things or production. Hale is also a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan who also roots for the Los Angeles Lakers and Duke Blue Devils. In his free time, he also loves to fish.

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CBB Injuries

How will Purdue adapt to the absence of Isaac Haas?

Hale Thornhill-Wilson

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Mar 16, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Cal State Fullerton Titans guard Jamal Smith (1) passes around Purdue Boilermakers center Isaac Haas (44) in the second half in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Heartbreaking news filled the likes of college basketball just this Friday, when it was announced Purdue senior, Issac Haas, will miss the rest of the NCCA tournament with a broken elbow. The big man was going up for a contested rebound, which caused him to fall directly on his right, shooting elbow.

The aftermath of the play had Haas grimacing in pain, laying on his frontside. Although there have been great attempts on Haas’s end to petition himself to the NCCA to be able to play through the injury, he will likely be out 3-5 months with season ending surgery.

This is a monumental blow for the Boilermakers. Going into season, the goal was nothing short of a national title. The specialization of talent that Purdue had extended far in many categories, along with their experience, instilled fear in many teams.

Positions 1-5 each had their specific skill set which complemented everyone perfectly. The emergence of guards, Carsen Edwards and P.J. Thompson, allowed for coach Painter to play a scoring combo guard along with a true point guard to provide an excess of offensive opportunities.

Beyond that, sharp shooting senior, Dakota Mathias, has been able to get open shots all year because of the respect his guards and big men command. Before the injury to Haas, their front court consisted of Haas, Matt Haarms, and Vince Edwards. Haarms has burst onto to the scene this year with his copious amounts of energy and a 7’3” 250 pound frame.

The freshman’s attributes are felt everywhere, but especially on the defensive end with his length and great ability to protect the rim. Senior Vince Edwards has played a pivotal role this year with his ability to score at all three levels. Edwards’ senior leadership somehow finds a way to shine bright during crunch time.

When everyone is a threat on the court, defenses can’t practice triage and show more attention to the best player. Often, Haas would require double and triple teams to be thrown at him, and with the displacement of attention, people like Dakota Mathias and Carsen Edwards got wide open shots.

With the subtraction of Haas, Purdue will have to rely on their playmakers to become more selfish. V. Edwards, Mathias, and C. Edwards will have to show up every night, staying ready for whatever is thrown at them, while understanding the bulk of scoring rests on their shoulders.

Haarms doesn’t have near the girth Haas had, but he must utilize his length and energy to dominate the offensive and defensive glass. The loss of Haas assumes there will be a decrease in offensive rebounding, which means Purdue has to make every shot count. The loss of Haas will simplify the opposition’s game plan tremendously and significantly changes the way the Boilermakers play basketball.

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CBB Injuries

Purdue’s Isaac Haas suffers fractured elbow-Dr. Parekh

Selene Parekh, M.D.

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© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue Boilermakers center Isaac Haas will miss the remainder of the NCAA tournament after suffering a fractured elbow. He will require surgery. 3 to 5 months RTP depending on the type of fracture.

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CBB Injuries

How will Virginia fare without DeAndre Hunter?

Hale Thornhill-Wilson

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© Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Just this Tuesday, Virginia announced that freshman forward, DeAndre Hunter, will miss the entire NCCA tournament. Hunter was going up strong for a layup in front of the rim when Clemson big man, Elijah Thomas, swiped down aggressively at the ball, causing Hunter to land awkwardly on his wrist. For some odd reason, Hunter played through the final whistle and managed to clock in eighteen minutes the day after against North Carolina. The injury was classified as a broken wrist. The wrist will keep him out of basketball activity for three to five months.

Hunter is looked upon as one of the most productive bench players in college basketball. Just as a freshman, he was crowned ACC sixth man of the year. Virginia’s playing time distribution is based on a meager 8 men deep rotation, which makes things tricky here. Does this force Coach Tony Bennet to look further down his short bench or rely heavier on the starting five? Hunter had the ability to play either forward position and score at all three levels. By no means is he viewed solely as an offensive player, his contributions are endless on the glass and defensive end. To mask the loss of Hunter’s presence, the Cavaliers may look to start Rutgers transfer, Elijah Johnson at the point, which would move Devon Hall to the four man spot from his original small forward position. Many would point to the lack of size being an issue in that scenario, but Bennet has a lot of faith in Devon Hall. Hall is the most valuable player on this team with veteran leadership and experience. The seniors’ jack of all trades playing style allows him to virtually play the point through power forward position.

A player that needs to generate more production with the absence of Hunter is Mamadi Diakite. Diakite is a physical big who can rebound and defend at a high level. To keep the mantra of great Virginia defense alive, Diakite will have to crash the offensive and defensive boards while holding his own against bigger guys on the interior.

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