With the college basketball season building up to its crescendo next month, we should be focusing on the teams and players and how well they’re playing and performing. And indeed, there has been plenty of that, but sadly, we’ve also been distracted by a run of injuries and illness of late, and it continued on Saturday.
A thoroughly intriguing and busy February Saturday was marked by some of the following developments and happenings, which ranged from coast to coast:
- Bad news for Virginia, losing Justin Anderson for at least four weeks due to a fractured finger suffered in the Cavaliers’ 52-47 win over Louisville. The 6-6 junior guard is the team’s leading scorer averaging 13.9 points per game. According to the current timeline, he would come back right around the end of the regular season.
- Providence coach Ed Cooley left the Friars’ game Saturday at Xavier with what was termed an unspecified condition, according to CBSSports.com. The Providence Journal reported that Cooley was having trouble breathing and that he did not travel home with the team after its 78-69 loss to the Musketeers. His status will be updated Sunday.
- Memphis caught a terrible break Saturday when Austin Nichols sprained his ankle in the second half of the Tigers’ game with Temple on Saturday. Memphis led before his injury, but the Owls came back for a 61-60 win just before the buzzer. Early reports are that he is expected to miss a couple of weeks of action.
- VCU is already without Briante Weber for the rest of the season, and the Rams also were missing Treveon Graham again on Saturday. Graham was out with an ankle injury, and VCU became the second team this week victimized by a buzzer-beater by St. Bonaventure and Marcus Posley in a 73-71 loss.
- UC Davis played its second straight game without Corey Hawkins. The son of former Bradley and NBA great Hersey Hawkins is having a terrific senior year averaging 21.3 points per game but has a calf injury. Even without Hawkins, the Aggies continued their outstanding season with a 68-55 win at Cal State-Northridge to remain atop the Big West.
- Marquette played without leading scorer Matt Carlino on Saturday, who was out with a concussion. Unlike some teams, his being out didn’t dramatically hurt his team, as the Golden Eagles earned a surprising 57-54 road win at Seton Hall in the Big East.
- Hoopville’s Phil Kasiecki has his recap of many of Saturday’s important games here
- Congratulations to Philadelphia University’s Herb Magee, the latest member of college basketball’s 1,000-win club after the Rams’ 80-60 win over Post (Conn.) University Saturday. Magee’s chase for 1,000 wins caught a deserved amount of attention in recent weeks, and he reached the mark in his second try after a loss earlier this week. He is just the fourth coach in men’s college basketball history to reach 1,000 wins for his career.
- BYU junior guard Kyle Collinsworth set an NCAA record for triple-doubles in a season, recording his fifth this year with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the Cougars’ 87-68 win over Loyola Marymount. Collinsworth now is one shy of the career record of six triple-doubles held by Michael Anderson of Drexel (1984-88) and Shaquille O’Neal of LSU (1989-92).
- Central Arkansas at last picked up its first win of the season and first under Russ Pennell, defeating New Orleans 70-67. As it so often is for young teams trying to learn how to win, this one didn’t come easy for the Bears, who squandered a 15-point lead with 5 1/2 minutes to play but hung on. Florida A&M is now left as the lone winless team in NCAA Division I.
- Missouri announced Saturday that it has suspended freshmen guards Montaque Gill-Caesar and Namon Wright for violation of team policy. The duo is averaging better than 15 points per game between the two, and it’s another blow in what has become a trying season for the Tigers, who are now 7-16 overall and at the bottom of the SEC.
Maryland at Iowa (3:15 p.m. EST, BTN) The Terrapins haven’t looked right for a while now, so this should give us a good gauge of where they are.
San Diego State at Boise State (6 p.m. EST, CBSSN) The Aztecs have a chance to take over control of the Mountain West, but the Broncos are playing very well and with a win here are in the NCAA Tournament conversation.
Oakland at Valparaiso Two of the four teams in heavy competition for honors in the Horizon League.
Clemson at Miami (Fla.) (6:30 p.m. EST, ESPNU) This one is now critical for both teams. The Tigers are trying to play their way into the NCAAs; Miami seems to be trying to play its way out.
Washington at Oregon State (4:30 p.m. EST, FS1) The Beavers continue to be a terrific story, while the Huskies continue to slide.
Manhattan at Rider Remember when the Jaspers were off to a 2-7 start? They’re coming in the MAAC now, as winners of three straight and seven of nine.
Holy Cross at Bucknell (2 p.m. EST, CBSSN) What game isn’t important in the Patriot League right now? The Bison need this one, though, to keep pace with Colgate at the top.
Enjoy your Sunday.