UE senior Colt Ryan had played in all 96 UE basketball games during his four-year collegiate career before Friday night, when a hip pointer injury kept him out of the Aces’ 66-56 win over Yale — their first victory of the season.
Ryan, who suffered the injury Thursday in the first half of the Aces’ loss to Buffalo, is listed “day to day,” said coach Marty Simmons.
“He’s just getting treatment,” Simmons said, adding he doesn’t know how long recovery time could be. “I was just talking to Yale’s coach. I know they had a player injured last year — a similar kind of injury — and I think he said he was out about a week. But I think it’s different for each guy. Colt’s a tough guy. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”
The Aces play against Western Illinois at 7:35 p.m. Saturday, the third game in three days to complete the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Ryan dressed to the Yale game in street clothes. He walked to and from huddles without a limp and, after the game, shook hands and met with fans as he left the court.
The injury came as Ryan absorbed a foul from a Buffalo player.
“They just kind of bumped hips is what it looked like on the tape,” Simmons said.
After receiving treatment in the locker room, Ryan returned to the Aces’ bench out of the half with ice and a bandage wrapped around his waist. He finished with two points in seven minutes.
Ryan averaged 20.5 points per game last season as a junior and scored a team-high 15 in the Aces’ season opener against Notre Dame. The Batesville, Ind., native and preseason all-Missouri Valley Conference selection has led UE in scoring 51 times during his collegiate career.
“We’re just coaching the guys who are available to play,” said Simmons, who had four players reach double figures against Yale. “We don’t talk about that. We talk more about how we played last night and how we want to change that – really just be more aggressive.”
Freshman D.J. Balentine, a former Indiana All-Star (like Ryan), scored a career-high 16 points with the Aces’ star sitting.
“With him out, definitely someone needs to step up,” Balentine said.
Added sophomore Jordan Jahr: “Last night I think we were a little shocked playing without Colt and didn’t realize what we had to do coming out in that game. But then, I think today we all realized we were going to be without him, so we needed to step up and make plays. Everyone contributed down the line.”