Injuries Piling up for Wildcats Hoops, 2011 Looking Good Though


By Paul M. Banks

First Kevin Coble, now this. An official statement just released from Northwestern University reads:

that senior guard/forward Jeff Ryan suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Wildcats’ season-opening contest against Northern Illinois Friday night and will miss the remainder of the 2009-10 season. Ryan is expected to undergo surgery to repair the knee in the coming weeks.

“I feel badly for Jeff,” Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody said. “He had been playing very well the past weeks and we were looking forward to him being a key contributor this season. It’s an unfortunate situation and we hope that he’s able to have a speedy recovery.” Ryan has appeared in 80 career games, including making 22 starts. Ryan ranks eighth in school history with a .496 career field goal percentage.”


Although Ryan was expected to be a key reserve for this season, the real important injury news from Wildcat Alley centers around the leading scorer of the past three seasons, Kevin Coble. He will be evaluated again Monday, and possibly reach a decision about the fate of his 2009-2010 season. Coble, along with Carmody will decide on whether Kevin should a.) come back in approximately 6-8 weeks and play this season, letting his foot heal by his relaxing and staying off of it. or b.) get surgery to repair the foot, take a medical red-shirt season, forget about 2009-2010 and come back in 2010-2011.

So what would you do? Look at this way, if Ryan takes his red-shirt season, and Coble takes a red-shirt year the only important senior not back for ’10-’11 is wing Jeremy Nash.  He will be a key loss; but Ryan and Coble would also return fresh to a team with a talented nucleus (Juice Thompson, John Shurna, Drew Crawford) that would have another year of seasoning. And that would likely be the difference in making 2010-2011 “the year”.

And by that I mean that’s when they’ll FINALLY make the tournament. Yes, the Big Ten’s much heralded junior class will all be seniors then, but the most talented players will leave early for the NBA Draft. Therefore, the conference will not be as strong and NU will have a much smoother road to the Big Dance. Just my opinion, but if I were Coble, I’d red-shirt.

Kevin Coble Suffers Serious Foot Injury at Practice


By Paul M. Banks

Is this is the year Northwestern makes the tourney? Well, those hopes took a huge blow on Tuesday when NU’s most important player, and star Kevin Coble seriously injured his foot.  He’ll be further evaluated by doctors on Friday, but preliminary reports say he’ll be out 4-6 weeks.  How legitimate are these estimates that he’s going to miss a month to a month and a half? Who knows?…Tomorrow the details on the seriousness and specifics of his injury should be released.

In the meantime, here’s what NU SID Nick Brilowski and the University released to the media

EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern University senior forward Kevin Coble (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Christian Academy) suffered an injury to his left foot during Tuesday’s practice session. The extent of the injury is unknown at this time and he is slated to undergo further examination Friday  morning.

More information will be released as it becomes available. Coble led the Wildcats in both scoring and rebounding in 2008-09 for the third consecutive season, averaging 15.5 points and 4.8 boards per contest. He was named a second-team All-Big Ten selection and helped Northwestern to a National Invitation Tournament appearance.

The Wildcats begin their 2009-10 season at 7 p.m. Friday at Welsh-Ryan Arena as they host Northern Illinois.