There are bad breaks and bad luck but then there is Rutgers basketball and its 2015-16 injury problems.
Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan went through the last two losses without four scholarship forwards and may lose another one in captain Greg Lewis. Lewis played through knee injuries for most of the season but the situation worsened in the 90-56 loss to Nebraska. The result could be missed game time for the last-standing center on the roster.
"Greg (Lewis) is hurting now," Jordan said. "His knee is really hurting him. We have to rest him. Hopefully not long, but it could be long - we'll see."
Even if freshman Jonathan Laurent (mild concussion) returns Wednesday against Ohio State, it still could leave Rutgers with just the 6-foot-6 wing and 6-foot-8 D.J. Foreman for the toughest stretch of the season.
Lewis, who is a fifth-year senior, hopes that mid-week rest has him ready for Ohio State.
"This is really important," said Lewis, who averages 4.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 20 minutes per game. "I'm going to do whatever I have to do, try to maybe cut my time down in practice a little bit and get some extra rehab. I want to be there for my team."
Worst-case scenario for Rutgers against Ohio State means no Lewis or Laurent in addition to long-term injuries for center Shaquille Doorson (foot), center Ibrahima Diallo (foot) and forward DeShawn Freeman (knee). Jordan played 6-foot-4 Omari Grier and 6-foot-2 Mike Williams at the five and four in the loss to Nebraska.
"It is not the numbers, it is the effort.," Jordan said. "After a while you don't play to the score or the time when you're down so much. You have to play with effort and discipline. There was one time when the kid drives all the way, and I told the team it was probably the worst play since I've been here as far as not giving effort or being alert, whatever the case may be. We'll snap out of it."