Key player carted off for Indiana in win
by Terry Hutchens, USA TODAY Sports
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – There has been a lot made of Indiana’s depth through the first nine games of the regular season.
That depth took a hit Saturday night, however, when sophomore guard Austin Etherington went down with a left knee injury late in the first half. As soon as he hit the floor, he was clearly in excruciating pain. His head coach, Tom Crean, and his teammates huddled around him as Assembly Hall was enveloped in silence.
What would eventually become a 100-69 victory over Central Connecticut State took a backseat to the players and their emotions for a fallen teammate. After several minutes, Etherington was lifted on to a gurney and taken to the locker room as Indiana fans gave him a long standing ovation. As he was wheeled off the court, he made a No. 1 gesture to the crowd to show his appreciation.
A few minutes into the second half he was transported to Bloomington Hospital. He was still being evaluated, according to Crean, when the coach provided his post game remarks.
In speaking to the players following the game, it was clear they were shook up. Crean talked about this being a close knit group. He said that while his team was able to bounce back and play at a high level they were very bothered by what had happened.
“It was tough,” said sophomore center Cody Zeller. “There’s no preparing for anything like that. We just had to get back after it, but it was tough.”
Christian Watford echoed his coach’s sentiments about how close IU’s team has become over the last few years.
“It’s tough especially when you have a guy who been through a lot with the program,” Watford said. “He’s my teammate but he’s also a friend of ours. It’s always tough seeing a comrade go down like that.”
Etherington was guarding Central Connecticut forward Terrell Allen on a drive to the basket when his knee appeared to make contact with Allen’s knee. He was in immediate pain as he fell to the floor.
Back to the secondary aspect of the evening, the game itself could be wrapped up like this: … [For more on Key player carted off for No. 1 Indiana in win, click here.]