Indiana's Gordon held out of rout vs. Kentucky with sore back

Updated: December 8, 2007, 8:23 PM ET
Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Eric Gordon and Armon Bassett, the starting guards for No. 15 Indiana, did not play Saturday in a 70-51 victory against Kentucky.

Gordon, a freshman, entered the week as the nation's second-leading scorer although his scoring average dropped to 24.3 points after a hard fall forced him out of Monday's game in the first half. He was diagnosed with a bruised lower back.

As recently as Thursday, Hoosiers coach Kelvin Sampson had said Gordon would play. But that changed later in the day when Sampson said it was obvious he wasn't completely healthy.

"He felt better Tuesday and Wednesday, but by Thursday afternoon, you could tell he was not getting any better," Sampson said. "That's when I realized he probably wasn't going to play. But you never know."

It's still not certain whether Gordon will heal in time for Indiana's next game, either.

The Hoosiers don't play again till next Saturday when Western Carolina visits, and Sampson said he's asking Gordon to make sure he's ready before returning to the Indiana lineup.

"There is no game more important than a young man's health," Sampson said. "It's not about if he's going to play or not. It is whether or not he's going to be healthy enough to play."

Team officials announced just before the game that Bassett, a sophomore who averages 11.3 points for the Hoosiers (8-1), had been suspended.

Afterward, Sampson said Bassett had violated team rules but would not say if Bassett would miss any additional games.

"I haven't decided that yet," he said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press