"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Marquette suffers huge blow; Matthews breaks foot

Apparently sometime during the last non-conference game, freshman Wes Matthews suffered a stress fracture in his right foot. He was held out of practice on Thursday and test revealed the injury on Friday. He will be out indefinitely.

This is a huge blow to Marquette as Matthews is one of the three key freshmen on this year's team and a starter. Matthews is averaging roughly 10ppg and 5rpg.

While MU's backcourt is one of its deepest in recent memory, the loss of Matthews could be devastating. Crean's squad had developed a solid backcourt rotation, with Matthews emerging as a capable ballhandler in addition to his solid scoring and defense.

Whomever replaces Matthews in the starting lineup -- Chapman or Fitzgerald if Crean sticks with a 3-guard set, or a post player if the lineup goes 'big' -- will not be as athletic or talented as Matthews. The injury could force MU to alter its style of play, particularly on defensive where Matthews and his freshmen mates provide MU with its best on-the-ball pressure in years. Without an aggressive perimeter defense, MU might employ more zone defenses to help prevent direct entry passes into the post.

Entering the conference schedule with an unexpected talent deficit will test MU's mettle in ways nobody anticipated.

Click here for the bad news.

Get well soon, Wesley.

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