Western Kentucky freshman guard Kendall Noble is sidelined for about four weeks with a leg injury, coach Michelle Clark-Heard confirmed Monday night on her weekly radio show.
Noble, who missed WKU’s exhibition game Friday against Harding, was diagnosed with a stress reaction in her quadricep that could lead to a stress fracture, Heard told radio host Barry Williams.
“I said, ‘You can get a stress reaction in your quad?’ ” Heard said. “You learn something new every day.”
The 5-foot-11-inch Noble will be on crutches for one or two weeks to take pressure off the leg, and the training staff has projected that she’ll be sidelined for about four weeks, Heard said.
“It kept bothering her in practice a couple of times,” she said. “She kept trying to get treatment, and finally, she said it wouldn’t go away.”
Noble, a Hazard native, was a prep standout at Perry County Central High School. She averaged 14.5 points and 9.1 rebounds as a senior and played in a record six straight state tournaments.
“I definitely will be counting the weeks,” Heard said. “When we went to our closed scrimmage against Louisville, she showed some great signs. She’s so talented and very unselfish. She’ll be one that will be fun to watch.”
Freshman guard LeAsia Wright is also currently out after surgery to repair an injured thumb. Wright is still on track to return for the home opener Nov. 17 against Northern Kentucky, Heard said.
“It just depends,” she said. “It’ll be six weeks, so hopefully we can get her released and back on the floor. If not, it’ll definitely be the next game.”
Here are a few other highlights from Heard’s first radio show as WKU’s head coach:
On JUCO guard Bianca McGee, who should become eligible Dec. 16 against Southeast Missouri State: “She’s definitely worth waiting for. She has a ton of ability and can score the basketball. She can shoot the 3, she can take it to the hole. She’s going to be so much fun to watch, and she’s helped Alexis step her game up. They play against each other a lot in practice, and they’re both very competitive.”
On sophomore guard Danay Fothergill: “Danay Fothergill has changed her body. She’s lost weight, and she’s working. When Kendall went down, I inserted Danay because she’s been working very hard.”
More on Fothergill: “Now she’s able, with the shape that she’s in, she can put the ball on the floor now. To be able to not only shoot the 3, but put it on the floor and get to the basket, that’s added to her game.”
On sophomore guard Ileana Johnson, who’s been sidelined some in the preseason with two ankle sprains: “She’s very good in transition. I tell her every time she gets the ball, to just push it. She makes great decisions, she’s a great passer and she’s worked on her shot, too.”
On exhibition win: “We wanted to set the tempo. Our Mad Dog, three-quarter-court defense is our bread and butter right now. We keep trying to get better in it, and the girls have bought into playing hard on defense and scoring in transition.”
On defense: “In women’s basketball, I think one of the hardest things to play against is switching defenses. We’re going to have a lot of change-ups on defense. … I’m trying not to give them too much complicated stuff on offense because they’re going to have to do a little bit more thinking on defense.”
“I want to be great. I don’t want to just be good. For us to get to the point that we’re great, we’ve got to be able to sit down and guard.”
On new policy to not go to the locker room after games, but instead stay on the floor and in stands to meet fans. Idea came from Heard’s time at the University of Louisville: “All the parents, kids and fans loved it. When I got here, that was one of the first thing I brought to them. I want to bring that energy and excitement back. It’s great to sit at a table and sign autographs, but it’s not as personal. I want people to know how great of a group I have.”
Assistant coach Greg Collins, who’s been doing most of the scouting for Murray State, on the Racers: “We’re going to have to stop dribble penetration. They’re very quick and like to put the ball on the floor. They’ve got a couple of kids that aren’t afraid to shoot a lot of shots, and the other side of that coin is that we have to rebound. If we do those things and play with the energy that we brought to the exhibition game, we’ll be OK.”