Longhorns Mohamed Bamba With Big Toe Sprain
The Freshmen Center for the Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team, Mohamed Bamba, suffered a sprained big toe on his left foot in Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State. This injury left Bamba unable to play in Monday’s loss to the Kansas Jayhawks. Bamba came down awkwardly on a rebound attempt against Oklahoma earlier in the month, and was only able to play sparingly against Oklahoma State after exacerbating the injury. He left the game only fifteen minutes in and ended up missing the entire second half.
March Madness Outlook
Bamba, is a likely top-five pick in June’s NBA draft, and is averaging 13 points, nearly 11 rebounds and almost 4 blocks this season. This injury could not have come at a worse time for the Texas Longhorns as they are sitting on the NCAA tournament bubble and are at risk of missing the big dance. The Longhorns are 17-13 overall (7-10 in the Big 12), and they still have Saturday’s finale against West Virginia at home before the Big 12 tournament starts up. With Bamba out, Jericho Sims the freshmen forward and sophomore center James Banks will have to step up and fill some big minutes until Bamba’s return.
A sprained big toe is similar to “Turf Toe” in football. A sprain to the big toe occurs when the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) , which is the largest joint in the big toe, and connects the first bone in the toe and the first long bone in the foot is stretched. When the MTP joint is sprained or strained, it can lead to different levels of pain, bruising, swelling, and sensitivity above and below the joint and even at the ball of the foot.
The MTP as well as the other joint of the big toe, (called the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIPJ)) are supported and held in place by the plantar complex, which consists of small bones, tissue, ligaments, and a tendon. Turf toe or a toe sprain occurs when the big toe over-extends, injuring the soft tissue in the plantar complex.
Return to Play
The normal return to play after a toe sprain or “Turf Toe” like injury is anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on severity. The trainers from Texas are estimating that Bamba will benefit from more rest this week as opposed to continuing to push through the injury. Next weekend, the Longhorns finish their regular season when the West Virginia Mountaineers come to town. Then the crucial Big 12 Tournament begins following that week in Kansas City. It should be expected that Bamba will be ready for the Big 12 Tournament as Texas’ March Madness hopes rely on his health and how far they can advance in the Conference Championship Tournament.
How will Purdue adapt to the absence of Isaac Haas?
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.
Purdue’s Isaac Haas suffers fractured elbow-Dr. Parekh
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.
How will Virginia fare without DeAndre Hunter?
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.