Injuries leave Hoosiers short-handed as practice begins

  • 10/01/2016 5:00 pm in

 Indiana held its first practice for the 2016-2017 season on Friday afternoon at Cook Hall without its complete roster intact.

A recent knee injury to Collin Hartman that required surgery has sidelined IU’s lone senior without a timetable for his return. Junior Freddie McSwain had recent knee surgery and is unable to go for now. Juwan Morgan has not been fully cleared after offseason shoulder surgery. And freshman De’Ron Davis has been shut down at times with various injuries.

It’s a challenge that Indiana will have to overcome as the Hoosiers are just a month away from their exhibition opener at Assembly Hall.

“We have not had a healthy team yet,” Tom Crean said Friday. “That goes from when the season ended in Philadelphia to when we get started today. We never went up and down the court five-on-five this summer because we didn’t have enough healthy guys to do that. We got better, we had great workouts, everybody has improved, but we haven’t had that.”

The Hartman injury will have the biggest impact on Indiana long term. Crean said the Cathedral product just returned to Bloomington following surgery and social media photos posted by Indiana showed him on crutches with his knee in a brace.

It’s the second knee surgery for Hartman in his IU career as he required surgery from a torn ACL in his right knee following his freshman season.

“I just love that kid,” Crean said. “He’s been through so much, and I know you’re going to ask me about timelines. I don’t have a timeline because I’m most concerned right now about his mindset. He just got back here, and that young guy was putting so much into getting ready to be our senior leader, and we’re going to need it.”

The prognosis for McSwain and Morgan sounded as if both will be back and available shortly. The surgery for McSwain, according to Crean, was to repair a previous issue that flared up again.

“He’s a couple weeks away from going,” Crean explained. And I add that because like that’s the kind of guy — he comes in and he makes our defense better. He looks like an NFL tight end, came in here and set the squat record. Freddie is really strong. He’s active and athletic, like he’s going to make our defense better.”

Morgan was named Indiana’s “warrior of the summer” for his performances in offseason workouts, but won’t be fully cleared for at least a few more weeks.

The Hoosier backcourt is fully cleared as James Blackmon Jr. has been available for a few weeks and Robert Johnson, who had offseason ankle surgery, was cleared on Monday.

With a tough schedule out of the gate that includes a neutral court game in Hawaii against Kansas, Indiana only has six weeks to get ready for an opponent that could be ranked in the preseason top five.

“The exciting part is we get to keep building on that as we go,” Crean said. “Have no idea how many steps it’s going to take for us to really grow and get to be good, but they’re there, and we’ve just got to take them, as corny as it sounds, one step at a time, not knowing how big one is, not knowing how steep one is, not knowing how long one is.”

Filed to:

  • Bill Graham

    Well I’ll say it. And I’ll probably take some criticism for it but that doesn’t make it any less true.

    Our three best players are all healthy.

    O.G. (basing on potential)
    + Rob’s healthy

    I never want injuries ever. period. I hope all of our guys get better immediately.

    At the same time if ever there was a year when we could afford to lose a guy its this year. We have depth at every position except for TB and James. They are go to scorers and cannot be replaced.

  • inLinE6

    It may not change our starting lineup but we’ll see some drop-off with substitutions. Definitely didn’t expect this. I didn’t know McSwain went through surgery, and thought JW and Davis are back full speed already.

  • SCHoosier

    Hoosiers need to injury bug to buzz off somewhere else. No way IU will be ready to take on KU at this rate.

  • Donnie Vick

    And they are all pros. Keady used to say, I think, you had to have 3 pros to win a championship.

  • pcantidote

    What would Keady know about it?

  • CTC mentioned during a short interview at MSU game that some patience might be warranted with this team given the injuries. I think that’s going to be an important word for all of us early in the season.

  • I was going to say, I think our starters will be solid. I think we’ll definitely be starting out with a three-guard lineup that includes JN at the point. Not exactly the frontcourt powerhouse we’re anticipating, but that’s still a solid starting five.

  • inLinE6

    That means we probably shouldn’t have high expectation on KU game.

  • Unfortunately, I think that’s about right.

  • BadBoyHulls

    Just based on terminology used it sounds like an another ACL for Hartman and a knee scope for McSwain. Of course this is just my educated guess based on how they are talking about things.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    My son, wife and I got back home at 2:30am from our IU football recruiting visit. Juwan Morgan sat with us and I must say that he is an absolute remarkable young man. His class and maturity is immeasurable. I asked him if there were any further updates about Collin and even he didn’t know. We were fortunate to meet with other players and it was great!! This IU bball team is/going to be great. Count on it. Tim Buckley is also a class act. Wow, what a beautiful experience being at the IU vs MSU game and meeting so many great people.

  • John D Murphy

    I don’t know. KU under Self builds as the season gets longer. They are typically not nearly as good early. Legs and depth shouldn’t be an issue that soon in the season. If Bryant can give us 30 minutes in this game we should be able to hang.I think it will come down to the 3PT % from JBJ and RJ.

  • Donnie Vick


  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    glad you had fun at the game. i’m by no means a cfb fan, but that one was fantastic to watch. appreciate the insight, JM was one of my favorites last season for sure. i worry about what this team’s gonna look like that first game missing out on so much practice time. maybe it’s fair to expect they’ll be greatly improved by the end of the year when it counts the most.

  • Dmoe

    Well at least you have the criticism right. And it’s far from being true Bill I guess you didn’t see what JM did last season especially with a injured shoulder. Check that stats not the hype dunks etc you really sound ridiculous. Go back to the Purdue game just to bring one fact of many. It was JM defense and down right dirty getting after it. That lead him to the free throw line to knock down to of the most important free throws. In sealing IU’s big ten title. Like I said one of many facts that I can mention. So for you to say that he is not included in your so called best three makes me wonder what part of the season did you actually watch.