Cowboys starting forward Jéan-Paul Olukemi has sweated out torn knee ligaments and an NCAA appeal in his quest for successful senior season.
Now comes another blow – an undisclosed injury to Olukemi's other knee, his left, suffered in OSU's 69-65 overtime win over Akron Thursday in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Olukemi, who scored the game's first five points, didn't play in the second half, instead sitting on the Cowboys bench with ice wrapped around his knee. The injury occurred when he drove the lane late in the first half and crashed to the floor.
“It doesn't look good for JP at this point,” OSU coach Travis Ford said. “We don't know a whole lot right now. We'll just wait and see what the doctors say.”
Olukemi's injury only adds to a growing OSU injured list. Starting guard Brian Williams is out for the year following wrist surgery and starting post player Mike Cobbins is expected to miss four weeks with a fractured toe.
JURICK, SOUCEK PROVIDE BIG HELP
In OSU's season-opening win over UC Davis, post players Philip Jurick and Marek Soucek were nary a factor.
Jurick played but three minutes and Soucek never got off the bench.
Needed against Akron 7-footer Zeke Marshall, the Cowboys big men played and produced.
Jurick totaled 20 minutes, grabbing eight rebounds and blocking two shots before fouling out. Soucek added three rebounds, a block and a steal in 11 minutes, and also drew the fifth foul on Marshall.
NASH ASSERTS HIMSELF
With the loss of Olukemi taking away one of OSU's reliable scoring options, someone was needed to take on more of a workload.
Le'Bryan Nash responded, scoring 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and 8-of-12 shooting from the line, while adding seven rebounds.
“I thought Le'Bryan may have played the best game he's ever played,” Ford said. “As far as the impact he made in the game, he made some big plays for us.”