March Madness is here and time to fill out your brackets and win some money. College injury information is always limited given the desire to protect the students but yet knowing what to expect healthwise is big part of bracketology. Here are top 5 injury issues by team to watch for the top ranked schools.
Arizona (1) – Kerr Krissa
The sophomore guard suffered an ankle injury in the Pac-12 tournament’s opening game last Thursday and has not played since. By the picture he posted on Twitter, Krissa is not playing this opening weekend. The left ankle has a ways to go in terms of swelling and thus he carries a low SIC health score of 36 (out of 100). Krissa is the team’s fourth leading scorer, but Arizona should have the talent to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. He has a reasonable chance to play in the second weekend where his SIC score will show big improvement to 73 but still not 100%.
Baylor (1) – Kendall Brown, L.J. Cryer, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua
Kendall Brown, the freshman guard/forward, should be good to go for the Bears. He banged knees with an Oklahoma player in the Big 12 semifinal, but was able to return and finish the game. Brown’s SIC score is 92, meaning he should be able to play without limitations.
L.J. Cryer is a different story for Baylor. His return is reportedly questionable, but he has missed the last 11 games with an undisclosed foot injury. He was seen in a walking boot during the Big 12 tournament and is rumored to have a fifth metatarsal fracture. While it’s difficult to confirm any details surrounding his foot injury, his SIC score is 13 and he’s a long shot to play at all in the tournament. Cryer had been the team’s second leading scorer in the 19 games he played this season, but the Bears will have to find a way to replace the sophomore guard’s 13.5 points per game.
Baylor is also without leading rebounder Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, who suffered a multi-ligament knee injury including his LCL earlier this season and his season ended with major reconstructive surgery.
Kansas (1) – Mitch Lightfoot and David McCormack
Mitch Lightfoot is listed as “day-to-day” entering the NCAA tournament after injuring his left knee in the Big 12 Championship. He’s likely dealing with an MCL sprain, putting his SIC score at 53. Even if he can play, his mobility would be limited.
If he misses the game, it will put more pressure on senior forward David McCormack, who has been on a minutes restriction recently while dealing with a sore foot. Lightfoot is McCormack’s backup, meaning McCormack could be force to play more minutes if Lightfoot is out. McCormack’s SIC score is 78, meaning he may struggle to be effective with the increased minutes.
Wisconsin (3) – Johnny Davis
The sophomore leading scorer for the Badgers suffered an eversion right ankle sprain on March 7, but was able to return for the conference tournament as expected. He played his full minutes in the third round loss to Michigan State, but scored 11 points on 3-19 shooting and 0-5 from three. The poor shooting performance may not be directly related to the ankle, but the ankle will certainly improve for the NCAA tournament. Davis averaged 20.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in 27 games for the Badgers and his SIC score pf 91 should have him playing well.
Illinois (4) – Jacob Grandison
The senior guard is dealing with a left shoulder injury and was last seen in a sling. The reported shoulder sprain may need a gameday injection to play. As a senior, it is certain that he will do everything to play but his SIC score of 73 indicates he will likely have limited effectiveness in the opening rounds. Grandison is fourth on team with 10.3 points per game and shoots 41% from three.
For info on the other teams and players including Tyson Walker (Michigan State), Yauhen Massalski (USF), Kyle Young and Zed Key (Ohio State) plus many others, see this link or go to Sports Injury Central www.SICscore.com.