Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 2/1/12
MILWAUKEE -- Marquette coach Buzz Williams will be playing without a big man down low, at least for a while.Already without center Chris Otule, who is out for the season with a knee injury, the 15th-ranked Golden Eagles lost 6-foot-8 sophomore Davante Gardner to a sprained knee. "(Gardner) had an MRI and he didn't tear any ligaments, so that's good," Williams said after Marquette won its seventh consecutive game on Tuesday night. "The swelling has gone down since Sunday morning. I think it's just hard to guess when you weigh 290 pounds, how long does it take to get all the swelling out?"We're not trying to hide anything. He didn't tear anything. He will be back. When will he be back? I don't know."Otule played his final game of the season in early December, which allowed Gardner a lot more opportunities as his minutes continued to increase.Gardner's 9.7 points per game rank third on the team and his 5.4 rebounds rank second.With Otule and Gardner out, the biggest player left on Marquette's roster is 6-foot-6 senior Jae Crowder. While Crowder is capable of banging down low and is the team's leading rebounder, he is also a 40 percent 3-point shooter and is used as a floor-spacing forward.Williams will now be left to mix and match smaller lineups, hoping to outrun opponents if they try to exploit the Golden Eagles' lack of size inside.That strategy worked, at least for one night, at home against Seton Hall in a 66-59 win.Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
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