College Basketball Injuries Bettors Need to Know on Saturday
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Ayo Dosunmu
As we get later into the college basketball season, injuries start to pile up across the nation.
And it seems like there are quite a few key injury questions going into this loaded Saturday college basketball card, so I wanted to touch on 12 games that could be impacted. I will update as I get confirmation on any.
Texas at Iowa State (-1)
You probably know by now that Iowa State lost potential lottery pick Tyrese Halliburton for the season to injury. The Cyclones were blown out by Oklahoma in their first game since he went down and remember that they lost earlier this season at home as 25-point favorites to Florida A&M when Halliburton didn’t play.
I’m starting to think Haliburton could be worth six or seven points to the spread, which is almost unheard of in college hoops.
That said, Texas has no shortage of injuries. The Longhorns won’t have the services of big man Jericho Sims in addition to guard Jase Febres and forward Kai Jones. Sims not only leads the team in rebounds at north of eight per game, he’s the only one on the team to average more than four.
Clear stay away game for me.
Northwestern at Penn State (-13)
Penn State’s win at Purdue was even more impressive when you consider second-leading scorer Myreon Jones didn’t play. He’s officially questionable but I don’t think he suits up based on some recent comments from head coach Pat Chambers.
Illinois at Rutgers (-3.5)
Illini nation got quite a scare at the end of their most recent game against Michigan State when potential first-round draft pick Ayo Dosunmu went down with what looked like a devastating knee injury. However, the team got good news after further testing and their leading scorer and assist man actually practiced before traveling with the team to Rutgers.
He’s officially listed as questionable, but I’d guess he doesn’t go. His absence would be massive against a Rutgers team that has been dynamite at the RAC all season.
Syracuse at Florida State (-9.5)
As Syracuse tries to fight its way into the NCAA Tournament, picking up a Quad 1 win at Florida State would go a long way. And having any shot at the upset will likely come down to whether or not Elijah Hughes can give it a go. He left last game with an injury and is listed as a true game-time decision.
Like Dosunmu, Hughes leads the Orange in both points and assists. His loss hurts even more when you consider Syracuse has absolutely no depth, ranking 352nd in bench minutes nationally. And being shorthanded against a typically deep Leonard Hamilton squad could be a recipe for disaster.
Weber State at Montana State (-6)
One of the most important players to his team in the entire country is Jerrick Harding, who averages 22.8 points per game for Weber State. Everything Weber does goes through Harding.
Look no further than last game when he sat out for the first time: Weber State lost 72-37 to Montana. In the first meeting, Weber State won in overtime 87-85. Harding is officially listed as questionable.
Georgetown at Butler (-9)
This game is full of injury questions, especially for Georgetown. The Hoyas could be without both guard Mac McClung and big man Omer Yurtseven. Those are the two leading scorers on a roster that was decimated earlier this season. Third-leading scorer James Akinjo transferred mid-season back in 2019.
McClung has missed the past few games and Yurtseven left late last game with an injury, leaving Georgetown with only five players that get any real playing time. Neither practiced this week, so Georgetown could be severely shorthanded today at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Butler is in much better shape but guard Aaron Thompson is questionable with an injury. He’s extremely important on the defensive end of the floor for a Bulldogs squad that already lost Christian David for the season. Reserve center Derik Smith is also questionable.
Auburn at Missouri (+5)
It looks like Mark Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon will sit out once again for Missouri. More importantly, on the other side, second-leading scorer Isaac Okoro won’t play today for Auburn.
The future pro does so much for Auburn and he will be sorely missed for this road conference game. Danjel Purifoy is also a very important piece for Auburn and he missed last game with the flu. Bruce Pearl said he’s questionable earlier this week but I expect him to play.
North Dakota at Western Illinois (+1.5)
ND forward Filip Rebraca left last game with an injury and is listed as questionable today. He’s the Fighting Hawks’ third-leading scorer and leading rebounder.
My guess is he sits out, which would be a big loss for a team that doesn’t have much depth (344th in bench minutes).
Others worth noting
- It looks like Texas Tech’s second-leading scorer Terrence Shannon may sit today (concussion) at Oklahoma State.
- George Washington (+7) is pretty much un-bettable without leading-scorer Armel Potter, who’s missed the past three games.
- MTSU (+2) leading scorer C.J. Jones missed last game due to injury and is listed as questionable today vs. UAB.
- USC’s (-7) leading scorer and rebounder Onyeka Okongwu sat out last game with a concussion. The future pro is listed as questionable tonight against Washington State.