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White's status day-to-day, questionable for Wisconsin

BY JACOB SHEYKO | JANUARY 27, 2015 5:00 AM

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Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery didn’t need to hear from the team trainer. He knew that forward Aaron White was done.

After running into Kendall Stephens with 15:48 left in the first half of Iowa’s 67-63 loss to Purdue on Jan. 24, White tried to play with an injured shoulder for a brief stint, then was benched for the remainder of the game.

While not exactly a surprise, McCaffery iterated Monday that White was day-to-day, and his status for Iowa’s Saturday matchup with Wisconsin is questionable.

“He’s still sore,” McCaffery said on the Big Ten’s weekly teleconference. “He’s been seen by our doctors. He’s been getting treatment. He won’t do anything, and he’ll be re-evaluated.”

McCaffery said he’s never had to deal with an injury quite like White’s, which is being called a stinger, an injury typically seen in contact sports such as football.

However, despite the possibility of not having White for Iowa’s second matchup with Wisconsin, McCaffery does have options on how to minimize the effect of White’s absence.

The Hawkeyes could go small, as they did against Purdue, and put three or four guards on the floor at once. Or they could do the standard practice of subbing normal backup Dom Uhl in White’s place.

McCaffery also noted utilizing both big men, Gabe Olaseni and Adam Woodbury, on the floor at the same time, although Iowa has only used that lineup a few times this season.

Whatever lineup Iowa chooses, it’s clear that numerous players need to step up to fill the potential void.

“Everybody’s got to step up,” McCaffery said. “It can’t be one guy.”

D’Angelo Russell’s ascension

In this day and age, a freshman having an effect on a college program in his first season is no longer an anomaly.

In fact, it’s become expected. But that doesn’t diminish how impressed coaches around the league have been with Ohio State freshman guard D’Angelo Russell, who was named the Big Ten’s Player and Freshman of the Week on Monday, becoming the first player to win both awards in the same week this season.

No coach has been more impressed than the one with a front-row seat to Russell every day, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta.

“He’s very comfortable with what we’re going,” Matta said. “And D’Angelo has a great understanding of the game of basketball. He’s a very diligent worker in terms of doing the best that he possibly can. He wants to be a great player.”

It is the fourth time Russell has won Freshman of the Week honors this season and the first time to win Player of the Week.

The 6-5 guard averaged 27.5 points, 8 assists, and 6.5 rebounds in the Buckeyes’ victories at Northwestern and against No. 23 Indiana.

On the season, he’s averaging 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. Russell is the leading freshman scorer in the Big Ten and the third-leading overall scorer.

“He’s also a guy that is fun to play with,” Matta said. “He makes our team and his teammates better when the basketball is in his hands, which really makes him special.”

Rutgers-Michigan State postponed

Michigan State had planned to practice early Monday morning, then fly to Piscataway, New Jersey, for a matchup with Rutgers.

However, just an hour before the Spartans’ 3 p.m. flight was scheduled to depart, today’s matchup between Michigan State and Rutgers was postponed because of a winter storm on the East Coast.

When speaking to the media on Monday during the Big Ten’s weekly teleconference, both coaches said that they expected to play.

“Everything’s been a little crazy here this morning,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said before the game was postponed. “… We’re on almost a half-hour-to-half-hour basis.”

The game has since then been rescheduled for 6 p.m. (EST) Jan. 29.

Follow @JacobSheyko on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s basketball team.


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