Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Ballinger injures thumb in practice, out until Christmas

October 24, 2000
Sophomore forward Adam Ballinger and Wisconsin forward Charlie Wills go for a lose ball in the first half of the last year’s game at the United Center in Chicago. The Spartans won 55-46. —

Another year, another preseason injury.

Head coach Tom Izzo announced Monday that sophomore forward Adam Ballinger broke his right thumb in practice last week and will be out six to eight weeks. Izzo said Ballinger is expected to return by Christmas.

“I’m disappointed because he is a big man that can shoot from the outside,” Izzo said. “He’s a role player, a big guy who understands the system.”

The 6-foot-9-inch, 250-pound Ballinger played in 37 games last season, averaging 2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game.

Izzo said he’ll look to freshman forward Adam Wolfe along with sophomore forward Aloysius Anagonye and freshman center Zach Randolph to contribute in Ballinger’s absence.

Last year, Mateen Cleaves broke his foot before the season began and missed 13 games.

“I call it the ‘Tom Izzo Rule’ where we lose a guy in the first week,” Izzo joked. “We just have to move on.”

Season tickets still available

The Athletic Ticket Office is still accepting orders for season tickets this week. Athletic ticket manager Chris Besanceney said Monday that 400 seats in the upper bowl of the student section in the Breslin Student Events Center remain for sale. They cost $112.

“Those who got left out of the cold (of the Izzone) still have an opportunity to get a full season of basketball,” he said.

Besanceney also said there were so many Priority 1 grouping orders that the ticket office conducted a lottery to determine who will get lower bowl seats. The lottery results will be posted in Jenison Field House on Wednesday.

Priority 1 grouping is for students who first enrolled in 1998 before the fall semester and had season tickets last season.

Any Priority 1 orders received this week will be in the upper bowl.

Green-and-White games scheduled for Saturday

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will have their annual Green-and-White games Saturday at the Breslin Center. Doors open at 3 p.m. and tickets will be sold at the gates for $2.

The men’s game is scheduled to start at approximately 4 p.m., or 30 minutes after the MSU-Illinois football game.

The women’s game will tip off 20 minutes following the conclusion of the men’s game.

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