STILLWATER — An innocent practice play might have altered the outlook of Oklahoma State's basketball season.
Brian Williams threw down a two-handed slam Monday in practice — something many figured he'd make commonplace this season — but after the athletic finish, OSU's starting forward fell awkwardly.
The tumble fractured his left (non-shooting) wrist and tore some tendons. Surgery came Wednesday, and Williams is expected to miss the entire 2012-13 season.
“From what I understand, he's going to be in a cast for three months and he needs another month, month and a half to rehab,” coach Travis Ford said after Friday night's Homecoming and Hoops festivities.
It's another tough break for Ford and the Cowboys, with expectations and pressure building for what many believe is an NCAA bid or bust season in Stillwater.
Williams averaged 9.6 points as a redshirt freshman last year (12 per game in conference play) and was slated as the team's power forward in an athletic starting five.
“Knowing he was going to be a starter, it hurts real bad,” guard Markel Brown said.
And now Ford is forced to replace the underrated 6-foot-6 swingman. Jean-Paul Olukemi may slide into the starting lineup, or Ford said he might go bigger with Kamari Murphy. That is yet to be decided.
For Williams, the nightmare news could be worse. He still has a medical redshirt season available, meaning he will start the 2013-14 campaign as a 21-year-old sophomore.