Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Hoosier basketball.

Friday, January 5

Ratliff Out For Michigan State

Don't expect to see A.J. Ratliff Sunday against Michigan State. In fact, a wrist injury could keep the junior guard out for a while.

How long? Not even coach Kelvin Sampson knows for sure.

“It’s a pretty bad injury,” Sampson said. “It’s not a sprained wrist. When you tear a ligament, it would be better if you’d break a bone. A ligament is a tough injury to overcome.”

Ratliff didn’t play in Tuesday’s loss to Ohio State. Freshman Joey Shaw did and while he scored a career-high 16 points, he also had some costly defensive breakdowns.

"Joey certainly helped us offensively," Sampson said, "but defensively is where we miss AJ. He was starting to understand how we play defense…maybe we don’t score 67 (against Ohio State), but maybe they don’t score 74.

"The area Ohio State exposed us the most was on the defensive end. When Earl (Calloway) and AJ are on the floor together, perimeter wise we’re a pretty good defensive team. When AJ isn’t in there, you have Joey and Armon (Bassett), and we’re not as strong defensively.”


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