Written by Tom Mieskoski

Tom Mieskoski

Charlie_Woods_mugCleveland State forward Charlie Woods, who has missed the last three games after suffering a dislocated thumb during practice on Feb. 10, had an MRI last week.

"(The MRI showed that) nothing was broken and nothing was torn," said CSU coach Gary Waters at his weekly media gathering on Monday. "It was just a dislocation that popped back in and we are waiting for it to heal. We're hoping to get him back for tournament play."

The 6-foot-7 sophomore is averaging 2.8 points and 2.7 rebounds a game coming off the bench.

Big week: The place to be this weekend is at the Wolstein Center.

That's where CSU (23-6, 12-4 Horizon League) have a chance to win its first Horizon League regular season championship and host next week's tournament. If they can hold serve at home this week against Wisconsin-Milwaukee (16-12, 11-5) Thursday at 7 p.m. and Wisconsin-Green Bay (13-6, 7-9) Saturday at 2 p.m.

"These two games are vital," said Waters. "If we can win both games it puts us into the semifinals. For us that would be the best scenario for this team because we don't have a bench to be able to win four games."

If CSU hold serves this week, they will be two home wins away from playing in the NCAA tournament.

On the block: Junior center Aaron Pogue had one of his best games at CSU last week, scoring a career-high 18 points on 8-of-10 from the field at Wright State on Feb. 18.

Then the 6-foot-9 Pogue was a non-factor against Old Dominion last Sunday, scoring two points on 1-of-4 from the field.

"We got to do a better job of getting the ball to Aaron," said Waters. "Aaron didn't get the ball enough to really cause any damage against ODU. In these next two games, we got to get Aaron the ball more. We can't let Aaron only touch the ball eight times and only shoot it four times."

Bench struggles: CSU's Achilles' heel this season has been the lack of production from the bench.

The bench is only averaging 10.8 points per game and is allowing 15.9 points per game. In the last four games, they have been outscored a whopping, 63-2.

It's unlikely that CSU's bench will turn it around this season, but Waters thinks the bench will be much improved next season because of the additions of redshirt freshman Sebastian Douglas, and early signees Anton Grady, Charles Lee, and Ike Nwamu.

Still, Waters is considering adding another big man to backup Pogue at center.

"The reason I'm thinking of bringing in a big kid next season, instead of waiting until (the following season), is because Aaron graduates (after next season) and we don't have any post center experience."

Waters said he has been scouting 3 or 4 big men.

Bracketology watch: Both ESPN's Joe Lunardi and CBSSports' Jerry Palm are predicting that CSU will be the Horizon League champion.

Lunardi has CSU as a No. 12 seed (facing No. 5 Vanderbilt) and Palm has CSU as a No. 13 seed (facing No. 4 Florida).

CSU women update: The CSU women (16-10, 9-6) are currently in fourth-place with three games left in conference play. They are a 1 1/2 games ahead of fifth-place Illinois-Chicago (12-13, 7-7).

In the women's tournament, the top four seeds host a home game in the quarterfinals.

CSU host last-place Youngstown State (4-22, 2-13) Saturday in its only game of the week.

Jackson update: Former CSU standout Cedric Jackson was selected to his first NBA Development League All-Star game last week.

Jackson, who represented the Idaho Stampede, finished with six points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 20 minutes during Saturday's game.

The second-year guard is averaging 12.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.6 rebounds a game.

News and notes: According to Waters, the Oklahoma City Thunder have expressed the most interest in Norris Cole.... Cole was one of a handful of CSU students who were selected to meet and shake hands with President Barack Obama during his visit to CSU on Tuesday..... According to Waters, ODU has opted not to play CSU next season in the return game of BracketBusters and will return the following year to the Wolstein Center....SportsTime Ohio will televise Saturday's CSU-Green Bay game as part of the Horizon League's TV Game of the Week package..... CSU women's coach Kate Peterson Abiad won her 100th career game last Thursday at Wright State and No. 101 at Detroit on Saturday. Peterson Abiad is three wins shy of passing Duffy Burns (103 wins) for second place on the CSU's all-time wins list.