Wisconsin’s Aleem Ford out indefinitely with knee injury
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin forward Aleem Ford is out indefinitely with a knee injury, a blow to the Badgers’ frontcourt depth.
Ford will have surgery, but is expected to return later this season, the team said on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-8 Ford figured to be the first forward off the bench for coach Greg Gard’s team. He averaged 5.8 points and shot a team-high 40.9 percent from 3-point range in playing all 33 games, including 20 starts.
Ford had 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 3 of 3 from three-point line, in a closed scrimmage this week against Iowa State.
Another sophomore, 6-10 Nathan Reuvers, should start up front next to preseason All-American Ethan Happ. Six-5 Khalil Iverson has the athleticism to keep up defensively with bigger forwards.
The loss of Ford might mean more opportunities for 6-8 Charlie Thomas and 6-9 Alex Illikainen, seniors with some experience but who don’t provide scoring punch.
At least Wisconsin is healthy again in the backcourt with D’Mitrik Trice (foot) and Kobe King (knee) returning from injuries that sidelined them last season after early December. The athletic King might also be a candidate for more playing time, especially if Wisconsin relies more on three-guard looks.
The Badgers hope to bounce back from a 15-18 season that ended a stretch of 19 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. They open at home against Coppin State on Tuesday.