IOWA CITY — Iowa point guard Mike Gesell will miss the rest of the regular season with a right foot injury but could return in time for the Big Ten Tournament, which starts March 14.
“He will not play any time sooner than that (the Big Ten Tournament),” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said in a Friday teleconference. “We’re hoping that he plays then. That’s the plan.
“My understanding is they’re going to do another MRI and we’ll see where it is. I think there’s a possibility, although I think it’s a small possibility, that they’ll shut him down then.”
Gesell, a freshman, scores 9.0 points a game and ranks second in assists with 79. He averages 27.5 minutes per game.
Gesell hurt his left ankle against Nebraska, but this injury is unrelated. It’s not a stress fracture and it doesn’t affect his right ankle.
“You treat him, you treat him, you treat him, then you go back and look again to make sure that it’s improved,” McCaffery said. “Obviously, he’s in a boot and he’s getting treatment every day, twice or three times a day. It’ll get better. But on the off chance that it doesn’t get better, we’ve got to take another look at it to make sure it’s improved the way we want it to.”
McCaffery said “everybody else is good” when it came to health in preparation for Saturday’s game at No. 1 Indiana.
Wednesday, McCaffery chose to move Devyn Marble from off-guard to the point to replace Gesell and insert Josh Oglesby into the starting lineup. Freshman Anthony Clemmons had started 13 games at point guard, but McCaffery chose to start Oglesby instead.
“I felt like I wanted to go with Dev as starter at that position,” McCaffery said. “And I felt that bringing Clemmons off the bench in the role that we did would be the best thing for him and for the team. He knows he’s going to play a lot. If you start both guards, you don’t have another point guard to bring in. You could obviously bring in Josh and move one out or move one over or whatever. I just felt like it would be good for Josh, good for Dev and it would be good for Clemmons.”
On Dan Dakich’s radio show Thursday, McCaffery said when Gesell returns to the lineup, he might move back to off-guard — where he started 13 games — and leave Marble at the point for the rest of the season.
This is McCaffery’s second game against a top-ranked team in his Iowa coaching tenure. On Jan. 19, 2011, Iowa lost 70-48 at No. 1 Ohio State. Indiana, which lost Tuesday at Minnesota, likely will fall to No. 2 behind Gonzaga next week.
Iowa is 2-19 all-time against No. 1 teams. The only wins were against UCLA in 1965 and Connecticut in 1999, which was Steve Alford’s coaching debut. Both games were at neutral locations.
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