Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Morning News: Traevon Jackson, Chris McCullough And John Johnson

Traevon Jackson won't return until late February
Traevon Jackson Out Six Weeks Jackson was injured during Wisconsin's debacle game against Rutgers. It appears that the injury is a broken foot and he'll be out for six weeks. This is going to severely test Wisconsin's perimeter playmaking depth. Bronson Koenig is a strong point guard and he'll slide right into the regular rotation, but who comes after him? The top two choices appear to Zak Showalter, who played sparingly until the Rutgers game, and freshman Riley Dearring.

There are three pieces of silver lining for Wisconsin. The first is that it sounds like star Frank Kaminsky shouldn't miss any more time. The second is that Wisconsin's Big Ten schedule is back-loaded, so they should be able to survive the next six weeks without losing more than maybe two games. And third, Jackson should be back and healthy for the Big Ten and NCAA tourneys.

Chris McCullough Tears His ACL This is a serious blow for Syracuse. McCullough has been really strong as a freshman, particularly on the defensive end. With him done for the season, Syracuse is now down to eight scholarship players, including lightly used 6'9" Chinonso Obokoh. Their depth in the front court is going to be tested in particular, so we'll see if Obokoh can step up and provide some quality minutes.

A few weeks ago, Dayton booted two regulars and was down to eight scholarship players as well, and they actually turned their season around by discovering a productive walk-on. Does Syracuse have a player like that? They have a walk-on with Division I experience (Carter Sanderson, a transfer from Lipscomb), but he's 6'2". They need a big guy, and I don't think one is there. If there's a little silver lining it's that this probably increases the odds that McCullough, a potential one-and-done guy, comes back next season.

John Johnson Suspended Indefinitely Johnson had been Penn State's sixth man, scoring 7.4 points in 20.6 minutes per game off the bench. It's unclear when or if he will return. With Penn State 0-3 in Big Ten play and looking like potentially the worst team in the league, this probably isn't going to help.

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