Northwestern loses key player to season-ending injury

Northwestern loses key player to season-ending injury

Northwestern (17-7 straight up, 11-12-1 against the spread) junior guard Ty Berry had surgery earlier this week to repair a torn meniscus and he will miss the remainder of the season, head coach Chris Collins announced earlier today.

This is a big blow to the Wildcats, who are in fourth place in the Big Ten standings with an 8-5 record in league play. They’re currently listed as 2.5-point road underdogs for Thursday’s game at Rutgers. The total is 131.5 points.

Berry, a senior guard who is eligible to return for a fifth season next year, was injured in the first half of last Wednesday’s home win vs. Nebraska. In 23 games, he was averaging 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Berry has buried 43.3 percent of his 3-pointers and 89.5 percent of his free throws. He’s leading Northwestern in 3-point accuracy and free-throw percentage.

The loss of Berry will mean increased playing time for 6-foot-7 wing Nick Martinelli, a sophomore who made his first career start in Sunday’s 68-63 non-covering home win vs. Penn St.

Martinelli had 11 points, eight rebounds, one steal and two assists without a turnover in the win over the Nittany Lions. He logged a season-high 36 minutes vs. PSU.

Collins has mostly used an eight-man rotation this year. With the loss of Berry, Northwestern’s depth becomes a bigger concern.

Nevertheless, Northwestern is still in great position to earn its third trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history. Collins led the Wildcats into the Round of 32 in 2017 and last year.

In Joe Lunardi’s latest edition of ‘Bracketology’ released Tuesday morning, Northwestern was a #9 seed matched up against eighth-seeded Saint Mary’s in a South Region game in Memphis.

The Wildcats are #57 in the NET rankings and #48 at KenPom. They own a 4-5 record against Quad-1 opponents, a 3-1 mark versus Q2 foes, a 4-0 ledger against Q3 opponents and a 6-1 record vs. Q4 foes.

After playing at Rutgers, Northwestern’s remaining schedule consists of home games vs. Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota, in addition to road contests at Indiana, at Maryland and at Michigan St.