Again, very little viewing last night, since there wasn’t much that I wanted to see going on, and I got on a bit of a run playing Casino Kid on my Nintendo. Almost took down that entire casino in just over an hour. Who says I don’t do anything valuable with my time?
My big basketball moment for the night, though (aside from an excellent basketball conversation with my friend Kevin) was seeing on the news that Travis Diener injured his ankle and may not play against South Dakota State. I’m not particularly worried about South Dakota State, since UWM beat them by something like 50 points last week (though any time Diener’s not on the floor, Marquette could be in for a scare), but the bigger issue is what implications this holds for the Marquette-Wisconsin showdown on Saturday night. What will happen if Diener can’t play?
Frankly, I think everyone knows what will happen if Diener doesn’t play, and it’s not a pretty outcome. But that’s not really the issue, anyway, since the only way Diener won’t play is if they have to amputate his foot. Even then, he might attempt to play on a prosthetic device. I don’t discount the seriousness of his injury (he reportedly was taken for x-rays), but Diener was only taken off the court twice last year–once on a backboard, due to concern of a possible spinal injury, and once when a high ankle sprain left him physically unable to walk. And in the former case, he was asking to go back into the game while he was being carried out! A turned ankle isn’t going to keep him out of a big rivalry game, and I tend to think he’ll get some minutes tonight, too.
Even with Diener, though, I see the Badgers being tough for Marquette to overcome. Diener probably won’t be fully recovered by Saturday, but I’d still say he’s a safe bet to will himself to about 27 points and 6 assists. His teammates don’t bring too much to the table, though, and that will be Marquette’s downfall. So don’t buy into any worries about Diener’s availability. It’s not an issue, and even if it was, it would be the difference between Marquette having a minuscule chance at victory, and Marquette staring down an embarrassing loss. I’m just glad that Diener will be there to entertain us.