The injury bug has found its way into the Western Kentucky locker room and seems determined to stay until the entire team goes down.
The injuries couldn't have arrived at a worse time for Ray Harper's young team, losing at Murray State and at #25 VCU. The Tops now look ahead to Saturday's showdown with #5 Louisville (10-1), unsure of who will be ready to go for tip-off.
If you're not up-to-date on the Hilltoppers injury report, let me break it down for you.
• Nigel Snipes- Injured knee in practice before season started. Out for season.
• Caden Dickerson- Injured shoulder on Nov. 29th at ULM. Out for Season, perhaps career.
• T.J. Price- Injured ankle on Dec. 5th against Southern Illinois. Missed 3 games. Will be a game time decision against #5 Louisville.
• Jamal Crook- Stress fracture in foot against Murray. Will be out 4-6 weeks.
• Kevin Kaspar- Injured hamstring. Doubtful for game against #5 Louisville.
Yeah, that's a lot of injuries.
Let's say that T.J. Price and Kaspar are both out this Saturday along with Jamal Crook. This would mean that WKU is playing without 36 points per game. Since WKU is averaging 68 points per game, this means they will be without 52% of their scoring against the fifth best team in the nation.
The absence of these three players would also create another dilemma for Harper on Saturday.
JUCO newcomer, Brandon Harris, proved that he could do what Harper recruited him, putting up 23 points on Murray State and running the offense without much error. Last night's game against VCU was a different story; the young Toppers looked shell-shocked at times against the full court pressure.
If you've watched Pitino's teams play over the last 10 years, you understand the staple of his defense.
Can this Hilltopper team handle the Cardinals tenacious defense without these three questionable players?
Western Kentucky is not only plauged with injuries, but also inexperience in the backcourt.
Brandon Harris and the rest of the young Toppers will have their hands full Saturday night.