Northwestern basketball’s Olah, Swopshire won’t play against No. 13 Ohio State
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org February 11, 2013 9:20PM
Indiana forward Christian Watford, center, shoots over Northwestern center Alex Olah, left, and forward Jared Swopshire during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Evanston, Ill., Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: February 11, 2013 9:44PM
Coach Bill Carmody said Northwestern will be without two starters — center Alex Olah and forward Jared Swopshire — because of injuries when it visits No. 13 Ohio State on Thursday in Columbus.
Whether either will be available for the Wildcats’ home game Sunday against Illinois remains to be seen.
Both were injured in NU’s loss Saturday at Iowa. Olah took a blow to the head early in the second half and immediately was taken to the locker room, where a baseline test confirmed he had suffered a concussion, Carmody said.
Swopshire injured his right knee while attempting a layup a few minutes later. He had an MRI exam Sunday and will get a second opinion Tuesday before a diagnosis is made.
‘‘He has really started to influence games the last few weeks and be more aggressive,’’ Carmody said of Swopshire. ‘‘He has been our leading rebounder and a real presence out there.’’
Swopshire is averaging 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds after transferring from Louisville as a graduate student. He missed the 2010-11 season with a groin injury but was part of the rotation when the Cardinals reached the Final Four last season.
Swopshire will be replaced by Kale Abrahamson, who has struggled to find a regular role as a freshman.
‘‘Kale can make some shots,’’ Carmody said. ‘‘Now he’s going to have to rebound more because Swopshire isn’t out there and Alex isn’t out there.’’
Mike Turner has been logging the majority of the minutes behind Olah at center, but he’s only 6-8. Nikola Cerina, a 6-9 forward, has been slow to recover from an ankle injury, but he will need to step up if Olah is out for more than one game.
‘‘The problem with Mike is he’s undersized and he has been in foul trouble,’’ Carmody said. ‘‘He has this tendency to foul guys a lot, and that’s a little scary.’’