Bloomington, Ind. – As IU prepares for a second its second straight game without Armon Bassett, its hoping his absence won't be permanent.
Coach Kelvin Sampson confirmed Monday that the bone chips in Bassett's ankle will likely keep out of Tuesday's game at Michigan. Bassett injured the ankle against Chicago State and was limited to only three minutes in IU's 81-78 win over Iowa in the Big Ten opener.
Sampson was hopeful the six-day break between games would be enough time to nurse Bassett back to health, but it's still not to the point that the 6'1" sophomore can go.
The Hoosiers are hoping another game on the sidelines will be what Bassett's ankle needs, but an extended absence or even surgery is a possibility as well.
"It's something that will bother him the rest of the year," Sampson said. "He may have to have surgery at some point and be out, or he may be able to get to the end of the year. But right now, he's out."
Tonight's match-up will not only be Bassett's second straight game on the sidelines, but the fifth in the last six games. Bassett served a three-game suspension for violating unspecified team rules in mid-December. Indiana is 4-0 in the games Bassett has missed, but Sampson says an extended absence would be a big blow.
"For our team to be as good as it needs to be, Armon needs to be our point guard," Sampson said. "He's our best point guard."
In his absence, freshman Jordan Crawford will likely start in his place at point guard. Crawford is the team's third-leading scorer at 13.8 points/game and started the December contests that Bassett missed.
Bassett's injury is the latest blow to an IU backcourt that's dealt with injuries, suspensions, and academic ineligibility in the first half of the season.
"Sometimes you have those years, but we've just really fought the depth in the backcourt," Sampson said. "On paper it looks like we have good depth, but we haven't had a game where we had all our guards yet."
IU Hopes For Best, Fears Worst with Bassett
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