Minnesota‘s freshman guard, Wally Ellenson, broke his left hand. Head coach Tubby Smith said that he will be out for the next six to eight weeks.
“He was having an excellent preseason practice and was doing some good things. We just don’t want to get started this early with injuries”, said Smith.
He sustained the injury while practicing with the team on Tuesday, after getting it stuck in a teammates jersey.
Ellenson was supposed to be a backup shooting guard, and even projected to get some playing time in his first year. He does have a lot of good players ahead of him on the depth chart. Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins, a sophomore and junior respectively, are likely to start in the back court. Joe Coleman and Julian Welch will also be constant figures on the court for Smith’s squad. The loss of Ellenson shouldn’t hurt the team immensely, though he would have been a very athletic option off the bench.
Ellenson is a very interesting player. He was a three star recruit from Wisconsin, yet had over 25 division one schools recruiting him. This was in part due to the fact that he was the state high jump champion as a senior. He jumped 6-10 feet, near Olympic height to win the title. Ellenson’s athletic ability even led him to be on Minnesota’s track team, as well as basketball. His leaping ability makes the 6-4 foot guard an excellent dunker.
Ellenson’s freshman season is now in doubt, after Smith said, “He was playing well, and he probably wasn’t going to be (redshirting), but it’s going to be something that we’re going to probably consider at this juncture.”
Their first exhibition game is tonight, at home against Minnesota State. Minnesota will start their regular season on Friday, November 9th against American University.