As usual, there are all sorts of injuries in college basketball at this point of the season. In addition, there are a lot of players making decisions to leave programs and look at other schools to play for in the future. Let’s get you caught up on some of the bigger personnel developments in the past week.
–Year 3 of the Jeff Capel Era at Pittsburgh isn’t going well. Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney both decided to bolt on the Panthers over the last several days. In 18 games, Johnson was averaging 14.2 points, 5.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. In 16 games, Toney was averaging 14.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 SPG. With only three regular-season games remaining, there’s no getting around the fact that these two players quit on their teammates, the coaching staff and the Pitt fan base. The Panthers have lost four straight games to fall to 9-9 straight up and 9-8-1 ATS. They’re still seeking their first postseason appearance on Capel’s watch.
–Auburn star freshman guard Sharife Cooper is ‘questionable’ for Saturday’s home game vs. Tennessee with an ankle issue. The injury caused him to miss Tuesday’s home loss to Florida. Cooper averages 20.2 points, 8.1 assists, 4.3 rebounds & 1.0 steals per game.
—Iowa redshirt sophomore Jack Nunge tore the meniscus in his right knee during the first half of last night’s loss at Michigan. The 6-foot-11 forward will have surgery next week. Nunge suffered a season-ending injury last season, too. In 22 games this year, Nunge was averaging 7.1 points and 5.3 RPG. Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said, “Jack was really playing well & making great strides this year before another unfortunate setback. He is beloved by his teammates & everyone in our program will support Jack during his recovery.”
—Drake‘s dream season is quickly unraveling due to unfortunate injuries. Roman Penn was lost to a season-ending foot injury this past weekend. Penn was averaging 11.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 SPG. He was leading the Missouri Valley Conference in assists (5.5 APG). A week before Penn went down, ShanQuan Hemphill sustained a lower-body injury that’s expected to keep him out until some point in mid-March. Hemphill was leading the Bulldogs in scoring (14.1 PPG) and rebounding (6.3 RPG). Drake still owns a 23-2 SU record and a 19-4 ATS mark, and the Bulldogs have won four games in a row both SU and ATS.
—Minnesota has been nasty at home inside The Barn all season. Until the last two games, that is. Well, there’s been a reason for the Gophers’ sudden demise at home. Gabe Kalscheur sustained a hand injury that will have him sidelined until late March. Kalscheur was averaging 9.2 points and 2.9 RPG. Also, center Liam Robbins (ankle) hasn’t been able to practice and couldn’t play in Thursday’s home loss to Northwestern. Robbins, who averages 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game, was limited to 14 minutes in last Saturday’s 94-63 home loss to Illinois.
–Speaking of the Illini, it was unclear — as of earlier this afternoon — if star guard Ayo Dosunmu would make the trip to Madison for Saturday’s game at Wisconsin. Marty Mush of Barstool Sports reported earlier this week that Dosunmu sustained a broken nose in last week’s win at Minnesota. Mush reported that he would be out until the Big Ten Tournament. The Athletic later confirmed Mush’s report, but indicated that it was unclear when Dosunmu would return to the court. He averages 21.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.1 SPG.
—Vanderbilt forward Dylan Disu had season-ending knee surgery earlier today. He was averaging 15.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocked shots and 1.1 SPG for the Commodores, who host Ole Miss on Saturday. It’s unclear if Jerry Stackhouse‘s squad will have the services of Clevon Brown or Scottie Pippen Jr. Pippen, who leads Vandy in scoring (20.5 PPG), assists (5.2 APG) and steals (1.7 SPG), missed Wednesday’s 70-58 home loss to Tennessee with an unspecified injury. Brown (3.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG) has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury.