Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mills Out Four Weeks

As first reported by Andy Katz of, Saint Mary's sophomore Patty Mills will miss four weeks with a broken right wrist. He injured the wrist in Thursday night's loss to Gonzaga, in which Mills scored 18 points in just 17 minutes. Mills did not play in the second half due to the injury.

"It's going to be an adjustment," head coach Randy Bennett said. "It's not just the points, he's a monster leader for us. Everybody has to play with confidence without him. It's not just the Xs and Os, it's the leadership. It will take 11 guys to get this done."

Against Gonzaga, the Gaels were a completely different team without Mills, as they struggled to score and were a shell of their former self overall offensively. They were outscored by 13 points without Mills in the game.

Mills, a 6-0 guard from Australia who played in the Olympics last summer, is one of the best point guards in college basketball. He is averaging 18.7 points, 3.9 assists and 2.4 steals per game for the Gaels. In his place, fellow Aussie Carlin Hughes will have to take on more responsiblity at the point guard position. Sixth man Mickey McConnell played 34 minutes against Gonzaga and will likely move into the starting lineup.

This is a huge loss for Saint Mary's, who was 18-1 heading into the Gonzaga game. The Gaels have no marquee wins on their resume and also have a loss to UTEP. Their RPI is hovering around 50 and their SOS is in the mid-250s. Furthermore, Mills is going to miss the second match-up against Gonzaga, a game which the Gaels need to win in order to boost their at-large profile. Also, any loss in the West Coast Conference will be considered a "bad loss," given the computer numbers of the rest of the teams in the league. Big men Diamon Simpson and Omar Samhan will really have to step up for the Gaels if they want to avoid the bubble come Selection Sunday.

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