Big 12 basketball: Cowboys lose swingman Brian Williams to injury

OSU's rebounding will be a concern until Williams returns from wrist injury he suffered during practice
by John Helsley Published: October 17, 2012
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photo - COLLEGE BASKETBALL: OSU men's basketball player Brian Williams (4) poses for a portrait at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011.  Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: OSU men's basketball player Brian Williams (4) poses for a portrait at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Injuries were already a storyline surrounding the Oklahoma State men's basketball team. And concern is amplifying, with Cowboys coach Travis Ford revealing that starting swingman Brian Williams has injured his wrist and is out indefinitely.

Ford broke the news Wednesday at Big 12 Media Day in Kansas City, saying Williams “is pretty seriously hurt right now … will be out for a while, and that does not help our basketball team as far as rebounding. Brian Williams was one of the more athletic players in our league — 6-5, he was playing the three-four for us. He's out for a while. We're not sure how long yet.”

A sophomore, Williams injured the wrist when he took a hard fall during practice earlier this week. Ford is still awaiting word on the severity of the injury.

OSU finished last season without three key injured players: center Philip Jurick (Achilles), forward Jéan-Paul Olukemi and forward Le'Bryan Nash (hand). Jurick still hasn't returned to full speed, while Olukemi is practicing, yet deals with occasional swelling.

Nash is back at 100 percent.

Williams started 20 games for the Cowboys a year ago, including all 18 Big 12 Conference games. He averaged 9.6 points and 3.3 rebounds. On a team lacking size, Williams was being counted on to help even more on the boards, putting his leaping ability in play.

OSBY, FITZGERALD AND M'BAYE NAMED OU CAPTAINS

Seniors Andrew Fitzgerald and Romero Osby and junior Amath M'Baye are this season's captains for the Oklahoma Sooners. Perhaps an indication of his expected impact, M'Baye earns the honor in his OU debut after sitting out last year following a transfer from Wyoming. Osby started all 31 games last season averaging 12.9 points, a team-high 7.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shot in 30.2 minutes per game. Fitzgerald has started the last 64 games for Oklahoma, finishing last season third in team scoring.

“Those guys have done an excellent job consistently with workouts as well as on campus and in the community, and their teammates obviously respect that,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “They want what's best for the team, and they're all about working to make each other better every day and representing well, and for those three, it comes pretty naturally.”

KANSAS STILL THE 1

In the preseason poll of league coaches, Kansas came in at No. 1.

No surprise, considering the Jayhawks have won eight straight Big 12 regular season titles. Picking any team other than a Bill Self club would seem unwise.

“It's not a reflection of anything I've done,” Self said. “It's a reflection of having good players, period. We've had some hard-rocking guys come through there. And some guys that have developed over time and played at a really high level.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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