On Saturday night, No. 1 ranked Indiana University continued its dominance with a 100-69 win over Central Connecticut State. However the team lost something much more valuable than the game when backup player Austin Etherington was taken out on a stretcher.
News has now come out that Etherington has a fractured patella in his left leg and will miss the rest of the season. The loss of Etherington hurts the depth of Indiana going into key Big Ten Conference games. Etherington was averaging 6.7 minutes per game, playing both forward and center. The former Hamilton Heights High School standout was able to eat up minutes when Indiana’s star Cody Zeller was on the bench.
On the season, Etherington was averaging 1.9 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in the seven games he played this season. The sophomore had one rebound in Saturday night’s game before he left on a stretcher.
The 6’6” 206 pound basketball player averaged 4.8 minutes and 0.9 rebounds in his freshman season at Indiana. Etherington had two games last season where he played double digits in minutes, scoring six and five points in those two contests.
While a senior at Hamilton Heights, Etherington averaged 18.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Etherington was named All-State in Indiana and had 10 double-doubles his senior year.
Obviously the loss is not as impactful as one to a starter like Zeller, but Indiana will notice the impact of missing Etherington. The team has no players who average more than 27 minutes and head coach Tom Crean rotates players throughout the game. Three teams in the Big Ten are ranked in the top 15, setting up an intense season of conference play soon for the Hoosiers.