Northwestern will try to make the NCAA Tournament this season for the first time in school history without leading scorer Kevin Coble and Jeff Ryan, one of the players that was going to help replace him. Both will miss the remainder of the season with injuries.
Coble will see another specialist about his injured left foot on Monday, but barring something unforeseen the 6-foot-8 senior forward will miss the 2009-10 season, Bill Carmody told ESPN.com's Andy Katz. Carmody said he has already talked to Coble about redshirting this season so that he can come back for 2010-11.
Ryan, a 6-foot-7 senior, tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Northwestern's season-opening 77-55 win over Northern Illinois last Friday night. He is expected to have surgery in the coming weeks.
"I feel badly for Jeff," Carmody said in a release. "He had been playing very well the past weeks and we were looking forward to him being a key contributor this season. It's an unfortunate situation and we hope that he's able to have a speedy recovery."
Ryan averaged 2.1 points per game last season but figured to be one of the players that would eat some of Coble's minutes this season. Now the team will have to lean more heavily on Jeremy Nash, who started in Coble's place against Northern Illinois and scored a game-high 20 points.
Coble led the team in scoring and rebounding in each of the past three seasons, averaging 15.5 points and 4.8 rebounds last season.
"We're losing a lot of points and minutes," Carmody told Katz. "How we distribute them we'll still have to see. I still think our seven or eight guys are OK. (Michael Thompson) , (John Shurna) and (Luka Mirkovic) will have to come through. Instead of Thompson taking eight shots, he'll have to take 12. Shurna can't have 18 points in one game and six in the next. He's got to be a consistent 14 points a game for us to be good."