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What Austin Etherington Injury Means for Indiana’s Championship Odds

Bovada still has Indiana listed as the team with the best odds to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.  With 7/2 odds they the only team that are currently even close to those type of odds is Duke at 6/1.

Indiana is also considered number one in the nation by both the USA Today Coaches poll and the AP and with good reason.  Indiana is currently 9-0 and are playing like a team hell bent on bringing the championship to Indiana.

It is disconcerting, however, when Austin Etherington left on a stretches this past Saturday after being injured while trying to draw a foul against Central Connecticut State.  This was an easy win for Indiana and they did in fact win the game 100-69. Etherington had to under go surgery on Sunday and will miss the rest of the season.

No one should be panicking about Etherington’s injury.  He is not a major contributor to Indiana’s offensive game.    He does, though, play with an unrivaled intensity and adds a lot to the Hoosiers depth off the bench especially considering Indiana’s bench players either leave a lot to be desired or are huge question marks.  When considering this, Etherington’s two points, two rebounds per game average in roughly six minuets of play looks pretty good.

Etherington was not explosive, but he was consistent.

Indiana can overcome this injury, but it will come at the cost of having to leave their starters in for a longer period of time or put the game in the hands of some questionable bench players with the consistent Etherington now injured.  They also have a rough schedule ahead facing off against some top 20 teams.

How much this will actually impact Indiana remains to be seen.  No one should be panicking quite yet.  Indiana’s next be challenge comes on January 13 against the number 13 Minnesota.

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