Gophers men’s basetball freshman forward Isaiah Ihnen missed Monday night’s 73-48 exhibition victory over Southwest Minnesota State because of a right wrist injury.
Ihnen, a 6-foot-9 native of Germany, was the top-rated recruit in Richard Pitino’s 2019 recruiting class. He was expected to compete for playing time at power forward following the season-ending knee injury to junior Eric Curry.
Ihnen spent Monday’s game watching his teammates on the bench in street clothes. His status for next Tuesday's opener vs. Cleveland State is uncertain, but it could be a broken wrist, according to sources.
Pitino said after the exhibition game that Ihnen was hopeful for the opener.
“He’s getting better,” Pitino said. “I don’t think it’s anything extremely serious. When you’re a man down with Eric, Isaiah has played a little bit of the 4. [Michael Hurt] has been a little bit hobbled with an ankle injury, so everybody has got to step up.”
The Gophers already lost frontcourt depth after Curry suffered a torn anterior crucicate ligament in practice earlier this month. Senior forward Alihan Demir, a graduate transfer from Drexel, started at power forward on Monday, but he finished with only three points and two rebounds in 16 minutes.
Hurt and sophomore Jarvis Omersa are backup options with Ihnen out. They combined for six points and five rebounds in 32 minutes against Southwest Minnesota State.
In the Oct. 19 secret scrimmage overtime victory at Iowa State, Ihnen had three points in 11 minutes off the bench, which included a three-pointer. Ihnen’s freshmen teammates Tre’ Williams, Bryan Greenlee and Sam Freeman made their debut Monday. Williams had nine points and six rebounds. Greenlee had six points and three assists.