Miami might face Purdue without injured Lykes

NCAA Basketball

The Miami Hurricanes haven’t lost any games, but continue to lose key players to injury.

As they prepare to host the Purdue Boilermakers on Tuesday as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, the Hurricanes (2-0) will likely play without All-ACC preseason selection Chris Lykes, who suffered an ankle injury in Miami’s win last Friday against Stetson.

The guard finished with a game-high 20 points, as well as five assists and four rebounds, but landed awkwardly on the foot of a Stetson defender while attempting a 3-pointer and left the game with 11:50 left in the second half.

Miami had already lost guard Earl Timberlake (ankle) for three to five weeks and forward Matt Cross left the game with four minutes to go due to a foot injury.

“An ankle injury is always serious to me because a player like Chris relies so heavily on speed and quickness and an ankle injury can really slow you down,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said after the game.

Larranaga said Lykes didn’t practice Monday and the coach hadn’t received a report from the doctors as of his press conference.

The Hurricanes could be down to eight scholarship players including just three guards against Purdue (3-1).

Purdue presents a tough obstacle for Miami’s thinned backcourt as it enters the game shooting 43.6 from 3-point range.

The Boilermakers overcame an uncharacteristically-poor shooting start (26 percent) to erase an 11-point halftime deficit against Valparaiso last Friday. Purdue, is scoring 77.0 points per game, with six players averaging double-figure scoring.

Sasha Stefanovic is averaging a team-best 14.0 points and is shooting 55.6 percent from 3-point range.

“It was huge, it’s a game-changer,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said.

Stefanovic (3.8 assists per game) and Isaiah Thompson (2.8 assists per game) have been crucial running the point for Purdue in the absence of injured guards Jaden Ivey and Eric Hunter Jr.

Miami is averaging 48.0 rebounds per game through its first two contests and outrebounded Stetson 49-29.

Isaiah Wong is pacing the Hurricanes so far in scoring (18.5 points per game). He and Harlond Beverly are each averaging 9.5 rebounds, as the team is out-boarding opponents by an average of 48-31.5.

Trevion Williams leads Purdue’s frontcourt, averaging 10.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. And Zach Edey, despite getting into foul trouble against Valparaiso, has quickly proven his worth as a freshman off the bench, scoring 13.8 points and collecting 5.3 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media

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