Injury Report — Sparty back to full strength with Dawson

Published on Friday, 2/28/14, at 4:17 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Editor’s note: Brian Edwards is currently ranked second in winning percentage and net units among 26 college basketball handicappers. If you want Brian’s picks for the rest of the regular season, the conference tournaments and the CBI, NIT and NCAA Tourneys, sign up right now!

Michigan St. starting power forward Branden Dawson is set to return for Saturday’s game against Illinois. Dawson, who averages 10.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, has missed nine consecutive games. The Spartans have lost five of those nine contests without him. While getting chafed by ESPN’s Dan Dakich’s analysis (criticism) of him during a film session, Dawson slammed his hand on a table and fractured a bone. He had the pins removed this past weekend and participated on a limited basis in Tuesday and Wednesday’s practices. Dawson was expected to take part in 90 percent of Thursday’s practice. “He’s gonna play with a little bit of a brace on that doesn’t seem like it affects a lot of things, but it still is there,” Tom Izzo told the Associated Press. “How much I play him, I have no clue. I might know a little more today and tomorrow.”

Boise St. might not have its leading scorer Saturday at Wyoming. Anthony Drmic, who averages 16.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, sprained his ankle in Wednesday’s loss at Fresno St. Drmic was considered ‘questionable’ as of late Friday afternoon. The Broncos are mired in a 1-7 against-the-spread slide.

California guard Jordan Mathews injured his ankle in Wednesday’s blowout loss at Arizona. Mathews (8.8 PPG) is ‘questionable’ for Saturday’s game at Arizona St.

Bettors like me got a tough break Thursday night when Steve Alford announced the suspensions of his two best players — Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson — less than 90 minutes before UCLA’s home game vs. Oregon. The Bruins had won (SU and ATS) every Pac-12 home game by 12 points or more with just one exception — a narrow defeat against then-undefeated Arizona. Therefore, UCLA was a 7.5-point favorite vs. the Ducks. So when the news broke and the line came down, it got re-posted at -3.5 and there was no way for UCLA backers to get out of the wager without risking a four-point gap that could’ve resulted in double losers. Dana Altman’s team eventually won in double overtime, but not before the Ducks nearly blew the game with an inexplicable error at the end of regulation. Leading by two with just one second remaining and at the free-throw line for one more attempt, Oregon made the free throw on purpose. With the clock stopped, the Wear brothers hooked up on a long pass and subsequent trey at the buzzer to force the extra sessions. The no-brainer move in that situation is to purposely miss the free throw (but make sure to hit the rim) and force the opponent to make an 85-foot shot instead of providing the opportunity to make a length-of-the-floor pass without time running off the clock. (Brian Gregory and Ga. Tech made a similar mistake in its miracle cover against Boston College two weeks ago, but it didn’t end up hurting them when the Eagles missed a potential tying shot at the buzzer.) Anyway, all indications are that the suspensions were one-gamers and the Adams-Anderson combo will be back for Sunday’s home game vs. Oregon St.

Northwestern’s JerShon Cobb is out for the season with knee and foot injuries. Cobb (12.2 PPG) is the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer.

Larry Shyatt is already without star player Larry Nance Jr. As we noted last week, Nance tore his ACL and is done for the season. Wyoming’s depth took another hit this week when Shyatt suspended Charles Hankerson Jr. indefinitely. Hankerson was averaging 5.1 PPG. Since Nance’s injury, the Cowboys have lost both of their games at Colorado St. and vs. Air Force, failing to cover each time.

After missing three consecutive games, Florida reserve point guard Kasey Hill (5.6 PPG) has been upgraded to ‘probable’ for Saturday’s home game vs. LSU. Hill, a McDonald’s All-American who has been a solid playmaker despite struggling with his perimeter jumper during his freshman campaign, injured his groin in a win at Kentucky two weeks ago.

La. Tech’s Raheem Appleby missed 12 consecutive games with an ankle injury before returning to play limited minutes (only five) in Thursday’s 55-39 home win over Middle Tennessee. The win gave the Bulldogs a share of first place in the Conference USA standings. Appleby, who averages 15.1 PPG, only took one shot (a miss) and that was his only contribution to the box score. He is considered ‘questionable’ against UAB this weekend.

Minnesota forward Oto Osenieks (5.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG) is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy has suspended Derrick Millinghaus indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Millinghaus averages 7.2 points, 2.4 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game.

A back injury might keep Murray St. center Jarvis Williams (‘questionable’) off the court Saturday against SE Missouri St. Williams averages 14.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game for the Racers, who are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games.

Purdue’s Jay Simpson didn’t play in Wednesday’s gut-wrenching overtime loss to Michigan due to a head injury. Simpson, who averages 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest, is a question mark for Saturday’s game against Iowa. The Boilermakers are also without guard Sterling Carter (4.8 PPG), who tore his ACL last week.

A toe injury has kept Temple power forward Anthony Lee out of back-to-back games. Lee, who averages 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, is ‘questionable’ for Saturday’s home game vs. Houston, which could fall in a letdown situation after Thursday’s upset win over Memphis.

TCU starting power forward Amric Fields has missed back-to-back games with a sore knee. Fields (13.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG) is ‘questionable’ for Saturday’s game at West Virginia.

West Va. guard Terry Henderson is expected to miss a third straight game vs. the Horned Frogs. Henderson (12.1 PPG) is suffering from mono and is out for an indefinite period of time. The ‘over’ has cashed at a 10-2 clip in the Mountaineers’ last 12 games.

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