Curious situation with Cronin. If anyone knows the exact nature/diagnosis of his hip injury I’d love to hear it since coverage has been short on specifics.
Cronin didn’t just display a noticeable limp v. Norfolk, he outright dragged one leg behind him anytime he was required to take it up above a trot. Still, he played decent minutes. Two conclusions, 1) something is def wrong (duh) 2) whatever the injury is, the coaches/trainers view it as more of a pain management issue at this point without significant risk of further injury.
I’m not the world’s foremost expert on redshirts. JB’s quote was something to the effect of, “If we redshirt him, we can always burn it latter.” So it appears the “redshirt” v “non-redshirt” discussion boils down to a decision over whether to save Cronin for an absolute emergency, or play him against the rest of the tomato can non-con so that he stands a higher chance of functionality if called on in Big 10 play.
Little to nothing can be gleaned regarding Cronin’s short term or long term potential from his play thus far. But if it is true that JB’s plan was to play one of Beinzig (sp) or Cronin this season, and slim left town, the decision is already made in my mind despite the injury.
The team’s success has put it in a position where missing the tourney this year would be a blow. JB should pull out all the stops. In a season where the prevailing theme has been this team’s ability to accomplish lots of little things which add up to victory, in my estimation one of the most incredible of those small feats has been the ability of M (esp its ‘big’ people) to avoid costly foul trouble. I think it’s a trend that will continue and really help to negate our size disadvantage.
But there are going to be nights in the big 10 where 2, if not all three, of the Sims/Shepard/Gibson trio are forced to play limited minutes due to foul trouble. Whatever else he can or can’t do, Cronin is undeniably 7 feet. He can stick his arms up to contest shots and grab rebounds which Wright cannot. Against Norfolk he didn’t look good getting up and down the floor, but his mobility in the ½ court didn’t appear all that limited by the injury. His conditioning, however, was terrible.
So lets see what he’s got. Let him break a sweat as part of the rotation in upcoming non-con games, and play lots of junk time. Help the conditioning and aid in his comfort on the floor handling the ball and making defensive rotations against live competition. Its not a stretch to say that Cronin’s ability to steal some minutes in 3, 4, or 5 big 10 games would be the determining factor in the outcome of at least one of those games. And in a hotly contested conference where M will likely need to go .500 to make it in, every game is huge.