Ranking the 10 Most Devastating Injuries That Will Affect the 2012-13 Season

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIINovember 8, 2012

Ranking the 10 Most Devastating Injuries That Will Affect the 2012-13 Season

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    The 2012-13 college basketball season hasn't even tipped off yet and there is already a long list of injuries that will hold teams back this season.

    Injuries played a key factor last season, and North Carolina shooting guard Dexter Strickland has let it be known that he thinks his team would have won it all if no one had been hurt.

    Some of these injuries have befallen teams who have the potential to win it all this season, and these devastating injuries could change the outlook of the upcoming season.

    *Note: All injury statuses courtesy CBS Sports

10. Seth Curry, Duke

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    Injury: Lower leg

    Status: Day-to-day

    Notable Stats (last season): 13.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.4 APG

    Duke absolutely needs Seth Curry to be healthy this season.

    With Austin Rivers leaving for the NBA after just one season in Durham and Andre Dawkins deciding to redshirt after his junior season, Curry is supposed to lead a young, inexperienced Duke backcourt this year.

    Rivers and Dawkins combined for 23.9 points per game last season, which was 52.4 percent of the team's backcourt production.

    All that remains of last year's backcourt is Curry (who is also the team's leading scorer among returning players) and a pair of point guards in Tyler Thornton and Quinn Cook who combined for just 8.5 points per game last season.

    While the Duke backcourt did receive a shot in the arm when the team landed elite recruit Rasheed Sulaimon, Curry was going to be looked to for leadership.

    While the day-to-day status is not an issue as of now, if he reinjures himself the team is in serious trouble. What's worse is that there is no particular diagnosis, and coach Mike Krzyzewski said Curry won't be 100 percent during the season (per News Observer).

9. Kenny Kaminski, Michigan State

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    Injury: Shoulder

    Status: Out four to six months

    Notable Stats (last season): N/A

    Kenny Kaminski was supposed to have a great playing career at Michigan State, but that will be put on hold, as he will likely miss the entire 2012-13 season.

    Kaminski is part of Tom Izzo's masterfully-crafted 2012 recruiting class that brings in four top-100 recruits. After working his way back from shoulder surgery, Kaminski was close to 100 percent in early July, and it looked like he would play a role in MSU's title hopes this season.

    Unfortunately, Kaminski required a second surgery and it now looks like he will be forced to redshirt this season.

    There is no doubt that Kaminski is a talented player, but after undergoing two shoulder surgeries in less than a year and missing most of his senior season he is beginning to look like he is injury prone. The last thing coach Izzo wants is to have such a talented player sitting on the bench.

8. Paul McCoy, Saint Mary's

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    Injury: Knee

    Status: Out until early-December

    Notable Stats (last season): Did not play

    Paul McCoy looked like a promising young player in his freshman season, racking up 13.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in the 2008-09 season.

    However, his numbers decreased substantially in his sophomore campaign, and he has not played in either of the last two seasons.

    Now McCoy is in his senior year, coming off his second torn ACL in two seasons, and he will miss the beginning of the season.

    McCoy has been an injury-prone player, but he has the potential to come back strong if he is healthy. The Gaels could use another good player to complement Matthew Dellavedova, now that Rob Jones is gone.

    However, this is a debilitating injury that will be difficult to come back from.

7. Tyler Lamb, UCLA

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    Injury: Knee

    Status: out four to six weeks (10-7)

    Notable Stats (last season): 9.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.8 APG

    Tyler Lamb is a talented guard who could have played a big role for UCLA this season, but his knee injury could hold him back.

    Lamb was fifth on the team in scoring last season, but second among guards. With Lazeric Jones gone, it looked as though Lamb would be given a star role at shooting guard alongside freshman point guard Kyle Anderson in the backcourt.

    Lamb has been sidelined for about a month, however, and has missed everything from Midnight Madness until now. He has not had the time to mesh properly with a team that will rely heavily on four freshmen, which means he will not have great chemistry at the beginning of the season.

    There will be some growing pains for the Bruins when Lamb comes back, which could lead to a lot of pressure on head coach Ben Howland, who has been sitting on the hot seat for quite some time.

6. Wally Ellenson, Minnesota

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    Injury: Broken left hand

    Status: out six  to eight weeks (10-31)

    Notable Stats (last season): N/A

    Wally Ellenson is Minnesota's top recruit in the Class of 2012, and the 6'4" shooting guard was supposed to be one of the impact players on a Minnesota teams that returns every single guard from last season.

    The Gophers are on the fringe of being a top 25 team, and Ellenson could be the difference. He brings a spark to the floor with his three-point shooting ability, which could greatly help a team that ranked tied for No. 110 in the nation in three-point shooting last season.

    Ellenson may not have been a starter on this year's team, but he sure had the potential to be an instant-offense kind of guy off the bench, similar to James Harden in his days with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Ellenson could be out until the new year in the worst-case scenario, and the longer he's out the more likely it is that the Gophers will be able to crack the top 25 any time soon.

5. Kwamain Mitchell, Saint Louis

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    Injury: Broken foot

    Status: Out until mid-December

    Notable Stats (last season): 12.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.7 APG

    Kwamain Mitchell is the best returning player for Saint Louis this season, and the skilled point guard was supposed to help the Billikens climb into the top 25 before long.

    However, a broken foot has him sidelined until at least December, and potentially longer.

    Interim head coach Jim Crews told slubillikens.com that he is looking forward to getting his star point guard back on the court, saying "Kwamain is an important part of our team....We look forward to having Kwamain back playing this season."

    It's no wonder the team wants him back. Mitchell not only leads the returning members of last year's team in points, assists and steals per game, but he is the team's emotional leader and his presence is like having a coach on the court.

    The Billikens had the potential to start the season strong and earn a spot in the top 25. Not having Mitchell for over a month could result in a few embarrassing losses, most likely to Texas A&M, Washington and/or North Texas.

4. Josh Gasser, Wisconsin

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    Injury: Torn ACL

    Status: Out for season

    Notable Stats (last season): 7.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.9 APG

    With Jordan Taylor's departure, Josh Gasser was set to take over as the starting point guard for Wisconsin this season, but it was not to be.

    Gasser will miss the entire season after tearing his ACL, and it looks like George Marshall will take over at point guard.

    Gasser was learning under Taylor for the past two seasons, and it looked like he was ready to take over. The transition appeared to be going smoothly, but now the team needs to shift gears and prepare for Marshall to run the offense.

    The redshirt freshman was not considered to be among the nation's elite recruits in the Class of 2011, being given a two-star ranking from ESPN. He has yet to play a minute of college ball, and he is not on the same level as Gasser was before going down.

    Points are always difficult to come by in Wisconsin games due to Bo Ryan's stifling defense, but this change could greatly hurt the Wisconsin offense, to the point where they may no longer be a top 25 team.

3. Robert Upshaw, Fresno State

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    Injury: Leg

    Status: Out until mid-November to early-December

    Notable Stats (last season): N/A

    Robert Upshaw is a seven-foot center who was supposed to dominate the paint for Fresno State in the Bulldogs' revitalization. However, an injury to his leg is a very costly one, as he is clearly the team's best player.

    The 250-pound behemoth is still growing, after growing two inches from his senior season until he got to college, and he is among the nation's top center in the Class of 2012.

    He provides a big target for point guards on offense, where he finishes with an arsenal of post moves. On defense he clogs the lane and is a very difficult player to beat for easy layups.

    However, without Upshaw the Bulldogs could suffer a month or more of mediocrity until he returns.

2. Kris Dunn, Providence

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    Injury: Shoulder

    Status: Out until at least late-December

    Notable Stats (last season): N/A

    Hopes were so high for Providence this season. A pair of top 100 guards in Kris Dunn and Ricardo Ledo were supposed to lead the Friars to the promised land, but a series of unfortunate events have made that impossible.

    It all started when Ledo was ruled a partial qualifier in early-September, and it looked like Dunn would have to keep the team alive in the Big East.

    However, now Dunn's shoulder injury which required surgery looks worse than it did at first. Originally the worst-case scenario was that he wouldn't be back until mid-November, but now it looks like he may not play at all in 2012, and will be forced to ride the bench until January.

    Without Ledo, Providence needed Dunn as the floor general more than ever, but now it looks like the team will have to wait for an unknown amount of time to see these two play together, if they do so at all.

1. Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA

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    Injury: Shoulder

    Status: Out two to four weeks (10-25)

    Notable Stats (last season): N/A

    Another elite freshman who will miss at least part of the season due to an injury, Shabazz Muhammad may have the most unique case on this list.

    Muhammad's shoulder could keep him out for the beginning of the season, but that may not be the biggest concern for him right now.

    The NCAA is currently investigating Muhammad, and it is unclear whether or not he will be cleared to play this season.

    Either way, if he is cleared, UCLA will have to wait a few games before it can pair its dynamic duo of Kyle Anderson and Muhammad, who are two of the top five recruits in the country.

    UCLA has a very young team, and the time Muhammad misses could very well result in poor chemistry with teammates (especially Tyler Lamb, who already appeared on this list). It is imperative for the Bruins that Muhammad and Anderson work well together, as this is likely the only season they will be partnered.