Starters Francisco Garcia (left ankle) and Taquan Dean (right groin) along with reserve center Nouha Diakite (right ankle) will not travel to Memphis for the 10 p.m. EST event televised by ESPN2. The depletions leave the Cardinals without an average of 30 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in its usually deep rotation.
Dean suffered a groin injury in practice on Jan. 21 that is still bothering the 6-3 guard. He played just 10 minutes at Tennessee after sitting out three days of practice. He rested much of last week and hobbled through 21 minutes against Marquette. Dean (12.3 points per game) has connected on 45.1 percent of his three-point attempts and his 3.0 treys per game is among the nation's leaders.
Garcia suffered his ankle injury late in the Cards' Jan. 25 game at Tennessee. He returned to action against Marquette after missing much of practice last week and contributed 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and eight turnovers. He is the Cardinals leader in scoring (15.8, 8th in Conference USA), assists (5.3, second in C-USA) and steals (1.9, fifth in C-USA) and also among the C-USA leaders in blocks (1.5, 7th), free throw percentage (.770, 11th) and assists-to-turnovers ratio (1.88, 7th).
Diakite became the latest addition to the list of injuries as he sprained his ankle in practice last night (Feb. 3). He has played nearly nine minutes a game while averaging 1.8 points and 2.3 rebounds.