The news that Kevin Coble is out for the year with a foot injury is of course devastating to Northwestern fans. Not to plug the book yet again but, well, said book does make the case that Coble has long been woefully underrated nationally, due largely to pace-deflated per-game stats that look ho-hum. (And while the sports information office at NU was typing the words “out for the year,” Jeff Ryan decided to meet that description as well, suffering a season-ending ACL injury Friday night in the Wildcats’ 77-55 win over Northern Illinois.)
If there’s good news here, though, it’s that Bill Carmody is reportedly hard at work trying to talk Coble into taking a redshirt and coming back as a senior next year. Assuming Carmody is successful there, the ‘Cats would actually look pretty robust on paper for 2010-11. With Coble and Ryan out, the only remaining senior in the rotation in 2009-10 is Jeremy Nash. Everyone else you see in Evanston this year–most notably Michael Thompson and John Shurna–should be back next year.
Coble’s absence will almost certainly mean more shots and possessions for Shurna, who was notably effective as a freshman starter last year. Perhaps freshman guard Drew Crawford will develop this season into a Craig Moore-type perimeter shooter. Heck, seven-footer Kyle Rowley might even make something of himself in this his sophomore year.
Anyway, given all of the above I’m getting an early start on this bracketology ‘11 thing and penciling in NU as an 11-seed. Assuming Coble does indeed come back for a fifth year.