College Basketball Injury Report: Who's Hurting the Most at Week 16?
The 2012-13 College Basketball season has been a non-stop succession of surprises.
Legendary programs have struggled. Mid-major teams and unexpected challengers have climbed into the top half of the Top 25.
And we haven't even considered the impact of injuries that have taken place throughout the season.
Let's take a quick look at 10 teams whose seasons have changed because of players going down for good or for a while.
Some of the teams on this list are still doing well, but their futures might be affected if they don't get some of their injured players back.
10. Oklahoma State Cowboys
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Oklahoma State (ranked No. 17; 19-5; 9-3 Big 12) is rolling along, currently in a three-way tie for first place in the Big 12 with Kansas and Kansas State.
Who knows how scary the Cowboys might be if they had another athletic wing to run with Markel Brown and Marcus Smart?
9. Penn State Nittany Lions
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Tim Frazier was a preseason All Big Ten selection.
His production was Penn State's best hope for rising out of the conference dungeon in 2012-13 after going 12-20 (4-14 Big Ten) last year.
But when Frazier ruptured his left Achilles tendon in the fourth game of the season, all optimism went out the window.
PSU is currently 8-16 (0-12 Big Ten), in last place in the conference and could possibly go without a win in league play this year.
8. Lehigh Mountain Hawks
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Lehigh shocked the world in last year's NCAA tournament when it beat Duke in the opening round. In that history-making game, C.J. McCollum scored 30 points and moved front and center on a lot of people's list of top guards in the country.
McCollum surprised many when he decided to return to school for his senior season.
This year, the 6'3" combo guard was the nation's leading scorer (25.7 PPG) after 13 games, when he broke his left foot.
While the Mountain Hawks have gone 9-2 and are tied for the Patriot League lead since McCollum went to down, their chances of advancing are slim if they make it to this year's NCAA tournament.
7. Stanford Cardinal
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Stanford’s Anthony Brown came on strong at the end of last season, averaging 12 points and six rebounds per game for the Cardinal as they made their run to winning the 2012 NIT Championship.
The 6’6” wing was supposed to be a main contributor on this year’s team which was expected to return to the upper tier of the Pac 12.
Brown, after playing just four games this season, had to have season-ending hip surgery.
Instead of making progress, the Cardinal (15-11; 6-7 Pac 12) have backslid into eighth place in the conference standings.
Just to make it back to the NIT this year, Stanford may have to win all of its five remaining regular-season games.
6. LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds
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LIU Brooklyn had a great season (25-9; 16-2 NEC) last year and was expecting to have another exceptional year in 2012-13.
The Blackbirds (15-11; 10-4 NEC) have already lost two more games than they did all last year, which means making the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season is in jeopardy.
5. Florida State Seminoles
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However, in a game against Virginia in mid-January, Shannon suffered a severe neck sprain and has not played since.
Over that time, FSU (14-11; 6-6 ACC) has gone 3-4.
Unless the 'Noles go on an absolute rampage, win out in the regular season and tear up the ACC Tournament, it looks like this will be a disappointing March for Leonard Hamilton and his squad.
4. Florida Gators
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Will Yeguete is the main defensive force for the Florida Gators who have discovered "the other end of the court" this season.
After having midseason arthroscopic surgery to deal with knee pain related to tendinitis, Yeguete missed the remainder of the regular season.
The immediate impact of his absence was felt in a surprising road loss to Arkansas.
But since then, the Gators seem to be back on track in SEC play, winning three in a row.
The question that lingers in Gainesville is, "What will happen if Yeguete doesn't make it back for the NCAA tournament?"
3. Tennessee Volunteers
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Jeronne Maymon, a 2012 second-team All SEC performer, was supposed to be one part of an intimidating frontcourt for the Vols in 2012-13.
This past summer, the 6'7" 260-pound forward had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, but was expected to return for his senior season.
After a setback in his recovery, Tennessee decided to redshirt Maymon.
Without him in the lineup, the Vols (14-10; 6-6 SEC) have been erratic and disappointing instead of challenging for the conference championship.
2. Duke Blue Devils
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Duke started off the 2012-13 season 15-0 (2-0 ACC). And then Ryan Kelly injured his right foot.
Since his departure in early January, the Blue Devils have gone 7-3.
Because Duke lacks quality frontcourt depth, the Blue Devils have been vulnerable against teams with strong inside play.
In each of their three loses since Kelly went down, Coach K's crew has been out-rebounded.
This weekend's loss to Maryland was the most one-sided. The Terrapins pulled down 38 rebounds to the Blue Devils' 17.
1. Kentucky Wildcats
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Starting in late January, the Kentucky Wildcats were playing their best ball of the year, winning five games in a row.
Noel's absence has left a gaping hole in both the middle of the Wildcats' defense but also their psyche.
Without the nation's leading shot-blocker patrolling the lane, Kentucky is a vulnerable collection of young talent that needs some big-time defensive help.
The outlook for John Calipari's squad without Noel is uncertain at best and disastrous at worst.
Unless Calipari is able to do something miraculous, Kentucky will not even have a chance to defend its 2012 national championship because it won't be part of the 2013 March Madness.