PEORIA, Ill. —Wichita State guard David Kyles' season could be finished. It depends on how well his teammates play in the coming weeks.
Kyles, a sophomore from Dallas, broke the third metacarpal in his right hand during Monday's practice. He is expected to be sidelined four-to-six weeks. That means the Shockers likely need to advance a round or two in a post-season tournament for Kyles to return. For example, the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament begins March 25 and the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament begin March 23.
The immediate concern is tonight's game at Bradley and the regular-season finale against Southern Illinois on Saturday. WSU begins play in the MVC Tournament on March 5 in St. Louis.
"David had just started to play some of his best basketball of late including 11 points at Utah State," WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. "This is unfortunate for him as well as the team, and we will need others to step up in his absence."
Marshall said the injury happened while Kyles was fighting through a screen while guarding freshman Tyler Richardson.
"I didn't even notice," Marshall said. "It was just a play, an unfortunate play obviously. It's going to be several weeks, so that could possibly be the rest of the season."
Freshman Demetric Williams is the likely recipient of more playing time. Williams, normally the backup point guard, is gaining Marshall's trust with improved play in recent games. He played a season-high 22 minutes against Evansville last week. In his past four games, Williams has averaged 16.5 minutes, 5.8 points and committed three turnovers. Freshman Kenny Manigault, who has played sparingly this season, may also play more minutes.
Kyles scored 11 points, his high since Dec. 9 against UMKC, and grabbed four rebounds against Utah State on Saturday.
"Now we have to have someone step into that role," Marshall said. "It's tough. He played really well against Utah State."
With Kyles sidelined and forward Gabe Blair slowed by a bruised left thigh, Marshall is unsure how his lineup will look. Both reserves played well in recent games.
"It's hard to change lineups when you don't have some of your guys," he said.
WSU (22-7, 11-5 MVC) can finish no lower than third in the conference and would wrap up second with a win and a loss by Illinois State. Bradley (14-13, 8-8) can avoid the play-in round of the MVC Tournament with a win. The Braves can finish as high as a tie for third or as low as a tie for eighth.