Good news and bad news, Nebraska fans.
Good news first.
Senior guard Sam Griesel participated in most of Tuesday’s practice and is expected to be available against Ohio State after he missed Friday’s game against Purdue due to a hip injury.
“It felt good this morning,” coach Fred Hoiberg said of Griesel’s hip. “That was the best sign. I think that he had really increased activity and didn’t have any setback or any soreness after that. Today, it was good to see him back out there.”
Griesel’s hip ailment was a “minor strain,” Hoiberg said, and is not related to the surgery he had over the summer. Moving forward, it shouldn’t affect him in a lingering way.
Griesel, who averages 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, thought about playing against Purdue last week and went through warmups, but ultimately NU “didn’t think it was smart” to force it.
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“You don’t want to go out there and be tentative,” Hoiberg said. “When you go out and you’re thinking, ‘Am I going to do something to aggravate this?’ Then that’s when something happens. You start overcompensating and then something happens to another appendage.”
Now for the bad news.
Junior forward Juwan Gary will “be out for a while” due to the shoulder injury he sustained against Iowa on Dec. 29, Hoiberg said.
Gary, who had been averaging 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, had a scan Monday and will see a shoulder specialist Wednesday morning to go over the results. There’s no official diagnosis for Gary just yet.
“We’re still hopeful that we will get Juwan back at some point, but we’ll know a lot more after tomorrow’s appointment,” Hoiberg said.
In other positive injury-related news, sophomore forward Blaise Keita is trending in the right direction after he went through roughly half of Tuesday’s practice. Keita, who averages 9.8 minutes per game, has been dealing with a high-ankle sprain.
Hoiberg said he was hopeful that Keita could be available for Wednesday’s game, but he wasn’t sure how much action Keita will see.
“He’s just having trouble recovering from that high-ankle sprain. It’s in a little bit different spot in his foot right now,” Hoiberg said. “The main is a little bit lower, like a normal, typical ankle sprain. Just gotta continue to hopefully get him better and get him timing and reps.
Ohio State vs. Nebraska
Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena
When: 6 p.m. Wednesday
TV | Radio: BTN | 1400 AM in Lincoln, 590 AM in Omaha (Huskers Radio Network)
Ohio State (10-7, 2-4 Big Ten)
F – Justice Sueing 6-6 R-Sr. 12.2 ppg
G – Sean McNeil 6-4 Grad. 9.8 ppg
F – Bruce Thornton 6-2 Fr. 9.6 ppg
F – Brice Sensabaugh 6-6 Fr. 16.9 ppg
F – Zed Key 6-8 Jr. 12.2 ppg
Nebraska (9-9, 2-5 Big Ten)
C – Derrick Walker 6-9 Sr. 14.1 ppg
F – Denim Dawson 6-6 RFr. 1.2 ppg
G – C.J. Wilcher 6-5 So. 8.7 ppg
G – Emmanuel Bandoumel 6-4 Sr. 9.3 ppg
G – Sam Griesel 6-7 Sr. 11.1 ppg
Ohio State Scouting Report: Ohio State ranks second in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (53.4%) and third in points per game (78.0) and rebounds per game (39.4) ... Ohio State has lost four straight games, with the Buckeyes' last win coming over Northwestern on Jan. 1.
"Ohio State is a very talented team," Hoiberg said. "They've had a couple bad breaks in their last couple games, but you go into the RAC and you take (Rutgers) to overtime, that shows you the talent and what they're capable of doing."
Nebraska Scouting Report: Wednesday's game will be NU's 10th game against a Quad 1 opponent, a mark that leads the country. ... The Huskers haven't beaten the Buckeyes in PBA in their last five tries.