Indiana meets Northwestern without Thompson | ie

It would be hard to imagine Indiana’s game against Iowa on Thursday going any worse than it did on the court.

Not only did the 15th-ranked Hoosiers gamble away a 21-point lead, then gave up a six-point lead in the finals at 3:42 and lost 91-89, but IU also lost forward Race Thompson to a leg injury.

Coach Mike Woodson, whose team has lost four of their last seven games after a 7-0 start, vented some frustration after the game by denouncing the umpires’ decision to overturn a technical foul they committed on Iowa coach Fran McCaffery imposed for crossing halfcourt and confronted Indiana’s assistant coach Yasir Rosemond.

“This is bull—- is what it is,” Woodson said. “You can print this out. If you can allow trainers to come into your room across the court, that’s bull —-. It is. He called the tech and pulled it back which was bullshit. Guy should have been kicked out of the —damn game.”

McCaffery won’t follow Indiana (10-4, 1-2 Big Ten) back to Bloomington, where the Hoosiers meet Northwestern (11-3, 2-1) this afternoon, but Thompson’s injury will. The sixth-year forward is out indefinitely, the Hoosiers announced on Saturday, making him almost certain to be off the starting lineup for the first time in 77 games today.

Thompson, who is the team captain, averaged 8.4 points and 6.1 rebounds and had one of his best starts of the season against Iowa, going 4-4 ​​from the field and picking up nine points, grabbing three rebounds and adding one assist, a block and steal, all in 10 minutes before his injury. He was on crutches in the second half.

Without him on the court, Iowa immediately started on an 11-0 run to cut a 20-point IU lead to nine. Star Hawkeyes forward Kris Murray, whom Thompson had guarded early on, scored 21 points in the second half to lead Iowa to victory.

Thompson is the second serious injury to a key Hoosiers player in recent weeks, following point guard Xavier Johnson’s foot injury sustained against Kansas on Dec. 17 that required surgery and also sidelined the five-year-old indefinitely.

“Obviously X and Race are both my boys and just seeing that disappoints me,” said forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. “I am very disappointed. I’m praying for the best and hoping that (Race) is alright, but it’s true, I won’t lie to you.”

Without Thompson, the Hoosiers will have to turn to a combination of five-star freshman Malik Reneau and hyper-athletic junior Jordan Geronimo as a power forward. Geronimo was the pick against the perimeter-oriented Murray, recording nine points on 4-for-6 shooting, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 18 minutes, but Reneau will get minutes against more traditional centre-backs. based power forwards.

Indiana’s injury woes don’t end with Thompson and Johnson either. Jackson-Davis, who struggled with back problems for most of the season, was in obvious pain walking off the court at the end of Thursday’s first half, despite playing the entire second half and averaging 30 points with nine rebounds and three Blocks.

“I was really just playing through the pain, honestly,” Jackson-Davis said. “Timmy G (coach Tim Garl) put a patch on my back, kind of like Icy Hot just to try to stabilize it, but I just had to play through it, especially when my team needed me.”

Jackson-Davis’ status for the matchup against the Wildcats should be determined by how his back reacted on Friday, Woodson said.

“The great thing about Big Ten basketball is that there’s another one coming,” Jackson-Davis said. “Northwestern is coming into Assembly Hall and we have to prepare for them because they’re a really, really good team and they’re really hot right now.”

Northwestern boasts victories over then-No. 20 Michigan State and Illinois and boasts one of college basketball’s best defenses, keeping opponents at 36.3% shooting, the fourth best in the country.