Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Shipp Injures Hamstring, Will Miss USC Game

By Bruin Basketball Report

Josh Shipp will miss Saturday's game against cross-town rival USC due to a hamstring injury he suffered in the Oregon game.

An ultrasound test revealed a slight tear in his right hamstring.  Shipp felt tightness in his leg at halftime but toughed it out and hobbled through the remainder of the contest.  He finished with 14 points in 35 minutes.

The red-shirt sophomore had injured his right ankle a few weeks ago which limited his practice time and conditioning. Against the Washington Huskies, Shipp developed severe leg cramps and had to leave the game early for treatment.  UCLA Coach Ben Howland believes the hamstring is a manifestation of the earlier leg injuries.

"He wants to play, of course," Howland said, "but I'm very worried about this becoming something that can get worse. Hamstrings are very, very tough injuries because you always run the risk of tearing it worse."

"We have to look at the long term," Howland said. " I don't want to see this turn into a thing where he's going to be out for three weeks, a month, two months.  Its a long season and we want to treat this injury conservatively."

Shipp sat out last season due to a hip injury which required surgery, but returned strong this season and has been a key to the Bruins fast start.

Paired with Arron Afflalo this season, the two give the Bruin offense a potent scoring option on both wings.  Shipp is the team's second-leading scorer with 14.7 points while shooting 46.7% from the field and is third in rebounds with 4.1 caroms a game.

"It's definitely tough. I mean, this is our rival game," Shipp said. "I really wanted to give it my all and try to go out there and play, but I just can't do it."

Howland indicated Michael Roll would likely start in place of Shipp.  In addition, he indicated Luc Richard Mbah a Moute could slide down to play at the three-spot and Russell Westbrook's minutes would increase. 

"I thought Russell played great for us on Saturday," Howland said. "I probably should have played him more minutes the way he was playing.  He's going to get more time now especially with Josh out."

(photo credit: Jack Rosenfeld)



At Jan 10, 2007, 6:03:00 AM, Anonymous alledom said...

Hopefully this is only a minor setback and not a continous theme with Josh and injuries.

At Jan 10, 2007, 6:32:00 AM, Anonymous Jay Smith said...

Hate see Josh go down with an injury - glad its nothing worse. Hopefully Roll or someone else step from the bench step forward to replace Shipp's points.
I'd like to see Dragovic get some mintues.

At Jan 10, 2007, 8:37:00 AM, Anonymous DJ_Rob_Gordon said...

Is there any update on how Dragovic has looked in practice? When he first became eligible a couple weeks ago, Howland seemed to suggest he needed work with his defense. I too would like to see him in the rotation.

At Jan 10, 2007, 9:25:00 AM, Anonymous JB said...

Very disappointing to lose him for this game... the loss to Oregon by 2 was no big deal. A "losing streak" starting with our rivals would suck. Wouldn't make a dent in the big picture, but suck just the same.

At Jan 10, 2007, 9:49:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Howland was non-commital at the press conference whether Dragovic would get additional minutes with Shipp injured. He did comment Roll and Westbrook would get extra minutes and Luc may see time at small forward.
Since practices are closed, we can only go with Howland's comments about Dragovic.
According to Howland, minutes are gained from practice performances. Last week he mentioned that Dragovic had a couple of great "intense" practices in a row, and that he wasn't concerned with Dragovic's experience level as a freshman since he has so much international experience.
Dragovic is one of the best, if not best, pure outside shooters on the team and at 6'8 his size gives him an advantage shooting over zones. In addition, Howland has commented he has been surprised and impressed with Dragovic's passing as well.
What it comes down to with Dragovic is on the defensive end. He is not very quick and is learning how to play better defense under Howland.
Howland insists Dragovic is a 3 - on the offensive end this is true, but defensively he will have problems guarding smaller, quicker 3's. On the other hand, he does not have experience guarding physicial post players.
Ultimately unless he improves significantly on defense, his minutes this year, if he plays any significant mintues, may be situational based upon player match-ups or if the Bruins need a spark from the outside in certain games.

At Jan 11, 2007, 2:01:00 PM, Anonymous JB said...

I like the idea of Westbrook seeing more time in this situation. I would keep Roll in his role. Let's see how it looks with Russell running the point, Darren at the 2, Aaron at the 3, Luke 4 and Mata at center. I've been fairly impressed with Keefe and think he could be a big contributor in a game like this. Our depth will make the difference. If $C thinks they have a big advantage with Shipp down, that will work in our favor.


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