Broken mirror – check. Black cat crossed your path – check. Another injury to a list so long it’ll hardly fit in this column – check. Yes, that’s right, ESPN.com’s Pat Forde is reporting at this hour that Louisville Sophomore forward Rakeem Buckles has indeed torn his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Buckles suffered the injury on a fastbreak when Point Guard Peyton Siva hit him in stride with a routine bounce pass. Buckles slightly fumbled the pass and never quite recovered. He slipped a bit awkwardly but was still able to walk off (albeit with a moderate limp) on his own power.
Now, this is just another chapter in the longest and strangest injury-plagued season I can ever remember. Yet, somehow, some way this team keeps winning games. It’s unbelievable. If the Cardinals do end up in the top 4 of the Big East and get a double-bye in the tournament, then the discussion for Coach of the year in the conference is officially over. Most people are beginning to anoint St. John’s coach Steve Lavin as the winner of the prestigious honor. And while he has done an admirable job, he also inherited a roster full of seniors who have experience in the nations toughest league. But what Pitino has done with an ever-evolving roster plagued with injuries and only ONE senior, is truly remarkable.
A total of ten Cardinals have missed games because of injury this season. The list includes: Preston Knowles (pulled muscle), Gorgui Dieng (concussion), Rakeem Buckles (broken left finger), Terrence Jennings (hip pointer), Elisha Justice (concussion, bone bruise below right knee, left rib cage fracture), Mike Marra (sprained right ankle), Tim Henderson (concussion), Kyle Kuric (concussion), Russ Smith (broken right foot), and Jared Swopshire (left groin). Swopshire has missed the entire Louisville season after having surgery to repair the groin injury.
– Brent Lepping