I've been trying to come to terms with the fact that Wayne Simien will be out for 4-6 weeks all week, and I really haven't had a whole lot to say that's all that positive. Mostly I feel bad for Wayne. This is the third injury that's kept him out for a significant amount of time and it virtually kills his chances of being national POY, which is too bad, because his numbers up until this point have been very good, especially his rebounding. Self seems to be searching for silver lining as well:
Self hardly expects Kaun, Jackson or Giles - or starting forward Christian Moody - to make up for the 17.4 points and 12 rebounds that Simien was averaging each game. But he is predicting that each will play a lot of minutes beginning with tonight's game in the Yellow Book Shootout.
"We need two of those three guys to step up," Self said. "It's amazing how people start to play better when the collar gets tight. Hopefully that will be the case with these guys."
Hopeful as he is that someone will emerge as a post presence alongside Moody, Self is far from married to the idea of playing most of the game with a pair of big bodies down low.
Honestly, I'd like to see Galindo get in there and play the 4 - he has a nose for offensive rebounding and if he can use his quickness advantage down low defensively, he could really help us on the offensive end.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee will be a tough game tonight, especially without Wayne. I think we'll band together though and play tough and motivated ball, but I suspect the freshman bigs will be full of foul-prone enthusiasm. Expect at least one DQ among Giles, Jackson and Kaun. The Panthers are 6-2 and undefeated in their league and get this, this will be their 5th straight game away from home. AFH East better be warm on this frigid December's night, because if the Hawks come out cold, it could be worse than last week.
My prediction: 79-63, but it will feel closer than that.