Nolen will undergo surgery on broken foot

  • Article by: MYRON P. MEDCALF , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 25, 2011 - 2:42 PM

The senior might have to miss the rest of the season, leaving the Gophers thin at point guard.

Snow fell somewhere in Minnesota. Traffic jams clogged metro highways during the morning commute. And the Gophers men's basketball team announced troubling news on a Monday in January.

Since New Year's Day, it has become the norm for the Gophers to begin the work week with a crisis.

Two days after his team won at Michigan for its first conference road victory of the season, Gophers coach Tubby Smith revealed senior point guard and co-captain Al Nolen suffered a broken right foot during that game. He will have surgery Wednesday to have a "pin put in his foot," Smith said, adding that Nolen will miss an undetermined amount of time -- and it's possible he won't return.

"We got some unfortunate news [Sunday] that Al Nolen broke his foot," Smith said during the Big Ten's weekly media teleconference Monday. "We're not sure how long he'll be out, whether it's four weeks or whether he'll be back before the end of the season. But that's a real blow to us."

On Jan. 3, the first Monday of 2011, Devoe Joseph met with Smith and divulged his plans to transfer. Smith hoped to persuade the junior to stay, but a week later, on Jan. 10, Joseph enrolled in classes at Oregon.

Jan. 10 also was the Monday that Trevor Mbakwe was arrested for allegedly violating a harassment restraining order. His next court date is two Mondays from now, Feb. 7.

The team's latest Monday nightmare began after Nolen landed awkwardly on his foot in the first half Saturday against the Wolverines. He didn't play the rest of the game.

Smith said he's not sure Nolen will return but didn't rule out the possibility.

"I don't think you know anything until all the surgeries take place," he said. "And then, it's a matter of how it heals. I don't think anyone can speculate on that, not even doctors."

Nolen's father, Al Nolen Sr., said he expects his son to do everything possible to play again this season. "I can tell you this, he's a gutsy kid. Knowing that, he'll want to finish out," he said.

This is not an unfamiliar scenario for the Gophers. But when Nolen missed the second half of the 2009-10 season because of academic issues and five games this season because of a stress fracture in the same foot he broke Saturday, they had Joseph.

The combo guard helped the Gophers earn their second consecutive NCAA tournament bid as the starting point guard down the stretch last season.

Joseph was suspended indefinitely to start this season, a suspension that ended after six games just as Nolen's five-game layoff began.

Now that Joseph is gone, however, the Gophers will use Blake Hoffarber and freshman Maverick Ahanmisi at point guard. Freshman Chip Armelin will help, too.

The Gophers will have only eight scholarship players when they play Northwestern on Wednesday at Williams Arena. In addition to Nolen's injury and Joseph's departure, freshman big man Mo Walker was lost for the season after tearing a knee ligament Dec. 23.

Ahanmisi is the only true point guard remaining on a thin roster. Armelin is essentially a scoring guard, but Smith said the Gophers will utilize his ballhandling, too; in limited time, he has turned the ball over once in the past eight games.

Smith said the first-year players will have to grow up quickly. Playing them throughout the season will help them make the adjustment, he said. Both Ahanmisi and Armelin stepped up in Nolen's absence Saturday.

"It's because we've allowed them to play early. They're going to carry a bigger role now," he said. "The expectation's going to rise because without Al Nolen, we're going to need more, better ballhandling. And they can help us in that area."

Nolen played through his stress fracture at the start of this season before missing a month. In early December, doctors considered surgery, but Nolen said he opted against the procedure.

Smith said that call was "mutual," as the team's medical staff also provided input. Monday, he suggested that it wasn't the right decision.

"It's a misstep and it cost us. Cost him," Smith said.

• The Gophers (15-4, 4-3 Big Ten) fell one spot in the latest Associated Press poll to 16th on Monday, even though they won their only game last week. In the previous poll, the Gophers went from unranked to 15th.

  • related content

  • Al Nolen

  • GOPHERS MEN'S BASKETBALL

    Up next: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday vs.

    Northwestern • TV: BTN (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati 1 Top 5th Inning
Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 20 3rd Qtr 2:35
Massachusetts 0
West Virginia 17 3rd Qtr
(2) Alabama 20
Rice 10 3rd Qtr
(17) Notre Dame 28
(10) South Dakota St 10 3rd Qtr
(24) Missouri 21
Fla Atlantic 7 2nd Qtr 0:45
(22) Nebraska 31
California 24 3rd Qtr
Northwestern 7
Marshall 28 3rd Qtr
Miami-Ohio 3
UC Davis 0 2nd Qtr 4:35
(11) Stanford 28
Arkansas 14 2nd Qtr 4:55
(6) Auburn 21
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 2nd Half 44:55
Seattle 0
New England 1 1st Half 40:00
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close