Basketball Notes: Dickerson could need surgery on injured shoulder

Basketball Notes: Dickerson could need surgery on injured shoulder

Cole Claybourn

WKU hasn’t had a complete lineup this entire season, and might not for awhile.

Head Coach Ken McDonald on Monday said junior guard Caden Dickerson might need surgery on his injured left shoulder.

He said there’s no time table on Dickerson’s return and said they’ll re-evaluate him over the next few days and figure out what the best case scenarios are for him.

“He’s caught some hits and it’s jarred him,” McDonald said. “It’s kind of reinjured that shoulder that has been bothering him that he did not have surgery on.”

Dickerson has injured both shoulders during his career, but for this particular shoulder he chose to do rehab instead of surgery because of the longer recovery time associated with surgery.

He’s been wearing a brace on his shoulder every game this season and was on the bench in Sunday’s game against VCU in an arm sling.

Dickerson has shot 11 percent from the field (2-for-17) this season and 15 percent from three-point range (2-for-13). He led WKU in three-point shooting the past two seasons.

But McDonald didn’t rule out the possibility of Dickerson rehabbing his shoulder again, saying it’s a situation coaches will continue to assess.

“We’ve got to rest him and figure out the best case scenario, health-wise, for him,” McDonald said. That’s another ongoing thing. I think we’ll know more in the next week.

“We really don’t have a direction at this point other than waiting for some of the swelling to go down and kind of see how he’s doing in a few days.”

Sophomore forward Kene Anyigbo left Sunday’s game with what McDonald said was chest pain and shortness of breath. 

When asked about Anyigbo’s availability on Wednesday against VCU, McDonald said, “we’ll see.”

“There’s some testing going on the last two days and the results will kind of come out today,” he said. “It’s important we worry about his health first. If you watch tape, you can see him dragging a little bit. We just want to make sure he’s OK.”

Meanwhile sophomore forward Stephon Drane continues to rehab from a hyperextended knee.

McDonald said Drane will practice this week and his game availability will be determined by quickly he gets into shape, and “how he handles cutting and physical play.”

Freshman Kaspar earning more minutes

Junior point guard Jamal Crook started WKU’s first two games of the season but eventually gave way to freshman point guard Kevin Kaspar.

Kaspar started all three of WKU’s games at the Charleston Classic this past weekend after Crook started the first two, including a career performance against Tennessee State in which he scored 13 points.

But McDonald went with Kaspar in Charleston, where the Turkey native had sort of a “coming out party.”

Kaspar averaged 11.6 points per game in 28.6 minutes per game during the tournament, highlighted by 15 points against Louisiana State. 

Crook, on the other hand, average three points and 10.3 minutes throughout WKU’s three games.

McDonald didn’t say that Kaspar has taken the starting role, and even added that he doesn’t put much stock in who starts and who doesn’t, but did say Kaspar made a “big jump” in Charleston.

“He’s playing well,” McDonald said. “He can still improve a bunch. He’s a confident, tough kid. He’s doing what I ask him to do on the court and that consistency is what I’m looking for and right now he’s in that spot. 

“Now, Jamal (Crook) came in and gave good energy the last time out so I’m expecting him to come off the bench and really help.”

Kaspar and Crook have two different body types and two different skill sets, which is something McDonald said he’ll try to utilize.

But when asked if he preferred one over the other, McDonald said he simply wants a point guard that can run the team.

“That’s the most important part,” he said. “We can’t be out there as a coaching staff directing traffic. The point guard has to get us organized all the time. The fact that Kevin has so much confidence shooting the ball is really important and his toughness on the defensive end. 

“He’s doing a good job fighting and battling and as his minutes get better and his game shape gets better, I think he’ll continue to improve.”

McDonald looking for wins to build confidence

McDonald said a win can cure a lot.

The Toppers will have a chance to cure whatever ailment they’ve been suffering from the past three games on Wednesday night against VCU.

McDonald said all it takes is a certain mentality.

“I think there’s some guys at this level – you’ve got to win a basketball game against a good basketball team,” he said. “You can even use our football program and Coach (Willie) Taggart as a great example. Look at the mentality three, four weeks ago compared to the mentality now and it all starts with a win.”