Marquette Wire

Offseason gives Hauser, Elliott much-needed recovery time

Sophomore+Sam+Hauser+said+he+will+need+hip+surgery%2C+although+head+coach+Steve+Wojciechowski+said+nothing+has+been+decided+for+sure+yet.
Sophomore Sam Hauser said he will need hip surgery, although head coach Steve Wojciechowski said nothing has been decided for sure yet.

Sophomore Sam Hauser said he will need hip surgery, although head coach Steve Wojciechowski said nothing has been decided for sure yet.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

Sophomore Sam Hauser said he will need hip surgery, although head coach Steve Wojciechowski said nothing has been decided for sure yet.

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Marquette’s loss to Penn State in the NIT quarterfinals came a little earlier than anyone around the program wanted.

But the loss was well-timed for sophomore Sam Hauser, who is having hip surgery next week, and freshman Greg Elliott, who had surgery Thursday afternoon.

Hauser said after the NIT loss Tuesday that he will need surgery, which will include a 5-6 month recovery process.

“A week or two from now, I’m going to go get (my hip) fixed in surgery and then start the rehab process … 5-6 months from start to finish,” Hauser said. “I didn’t want to get surgery before the season because I didn’t want to miss the season, so I battled through (the injury).”

His right hip has been an issue since August, and according to Hauser, worsened as the season went on.

“As the season went on, it kind of kept on getting a little worse here and there,” Hauser said. “I was just trying to maintain it the whole year. We were all kind of surprised we made it all year to this game.”

His on-court performance hardly reflected it for much of the season. He finished third on the team in scoring and was the team leader in 3-point shooting percentage and rebounding.

“I don’t know if we have anybody more important than (Hauser),” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “The kid was an absolute warrior.”

“It was tough, but at the end of the day you just have to put it past yourself and just play the game,” Hauser said. “I go out every night and just do whatever it takes to win.”

Hauser is not the only one to have dealt with a serious injury during the entire season. Elliott injured his hand Nov. 4 and has played through the injury since then. Tuesday’s NIT quarterfinals marked 229 days since he injured his hand.

“I hurt it in the Lindenwood exhibition. It’s been messed up ever since,” Elliott said. “I’ve just kept playing through it, so we’re going to see if I need surgery or not after a couple weeks.”

Playing Hauser and Elliott became a necessity after shooting guard Haanif Cheatham departed the program in November. Marquette only had nine scholarship players eligible, and sophomore Harry Froling did not play in five of Marquette’s last nine games. That left eight players playing significant minutes.

“We had two kids in Sam and Greg that were playing through significant injuries through the whole season,” Wojo said. “And both of them were really important players.”

For freshman Elliott from Pontiac, Michigan, playing through pain quickly became a new reality.

“It was tough, but I got used to it after a while,” Elliott said. “My pain tolerance got higher, and I got used to having the little splint on my hand, so I had to get used to it to help my team win.”

Elliott did not think his hand injury significantly hampered his on-court performance.

“I’m not going to make any excuses on my hand,” Elliott said. “If it was something I couldn’t do, it was probably something I couldn’t do and need to work on so I can get better.”

Earning a postseason bid and extending the season didn’t help Elliott and Hauser’s injuries. Marquette’s NIT loss came almost 34 weeks since the team’s home opener and approximately 40 weeks since the team’s first practice.

“Our guys are fried. Physically and emotionally and mentally, our guys are fried,” Wojo said. “We need to go through physicals and see where guys are at from a physical standpoint. They need to finish up school strong.”

Wojo has yet to confirm Hauser’s surgery when asked after Tuesday’s NIT loss and Thursday during the Marquette Basketball Hour on ESPN Milwaukee.

“We’ll have to meet with our doctors and Brandon and the Hausers and figure out a plan of action to get Sam back to 100 percent,” Wojo said Tuesday. “And we’ll have to meet with the Elliotts and Greg and our doctors and Brandon to get him back to 100 percent. We’ll start on that immediately.”

It’s safe to say Marquette won’t be spending much time in the Kasten Gym in the Al McGuire Center this week.

“I would not advise guys to be in the gym tomorrow,” Wojo said Tuesday. “And I think they would heed that advice.”

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