WVU tries to manage without Miles
Published: Thursday, October 14, 2010
Updated: Friday, October 15, 2010 00:10
The No. 9 West Virginia women's basketball team won't play a game for three more weeks, but the team has already suffered a setback.
West Virginia senior point guard and reigning Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year Sarah Miles will miss four to six weeks after having surgery to mend a right wrist injury suffered in the first day of practice. Miles injured the wrist as she was boxing out a teammate.
Head coach Mike Carey called it a "freak" injury.
"Either way she would be out of commission for four to six weeks whether they operated or didn't operate," Carey said. "If they didn't operate, it could have happened again later this season, so it was better to go ahead and get it done."
Carey said the injury wasn't bone-related, but since it happened to her dominant right hand, it was necessary to go through with surgery. Miles had successful surgery Monday that took a mere 15 minutes.
Miles was the leader of the Mountaineers a year ago when the team set records for number of wins in a season (29) including a perfect 17-0 record at the WVU Coliseum. She averaged 10.8 points per contest to go along with a Big East-leading 5.9 assists per game. She was second on the team with 34.8 minutes played per contest.
"My biggest concern is the rehab. How long is it going to take her to rehab?" Carey asked. "I'm sure she'll favor it, but it'll be our job to get her to have confidence in (her wrist) again."
Miles played with an injured left hand for the majority of non-conference play last season after suffering another injury in practice in 2009.
Carey said freshman Brooke Hampton and senior Vanessa House will be the primary point guards while Miles is unavailable.
"Brooke's had to step into the role of point guard as a freshman, which is pretty tough, especially for me," Carey said. "She's going through ups and downs in practice, but I'm very happy with her progress since she's moved to getting all the reps in practice."
Hampton was the 100th-best player in the country according to Dan Olson's Collegiate Basketball Report. The Colts Neck, N.J., native averaged 18 points and 3.7 assists per game in her senior year of high school. Carey considers Hampton to be one of the team's best 3-point shooters.
"Everything is new to her right now, but she does a great job hitting open shots," Carey said. "She's doing the things we look for our point guard to do."
House has played point guard sparingly during her first two years at West Virginia.
If Miles does miss six weeks, she should be back in time for the Mountaineers' Big East opener at Villanova Dec. 9.
"We want to get her back as early as we can and get her on the court," Carey said.
The Mountaineers open their season against Loyola (Md.) Nov. 12 at the WVU Coliseum.