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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has lost starting center Cameron Ridley indefinitely to a broken left foot.
"We are really hopeful that he'll be back this year," coach Shaka Smart said Monday. "That's what we are planning on. "
Ridley, a 6-foot-10, 290-pound senior, suffered the injury during practice Sunday. He will have surgery Tuesday and there is no timetable for his return.
Ridley averages 12.7 points a game, second best on the team. His 10.0 rebounds and 3.4 blocks lead the Longhorns, and he is fifth nationally in blocks per game.
Texas (8-3) has won six straight games going into Tuesday's home game against Connecticut (8-3). The Huskies recently lost their starting center, Amida Brimah, to a broken finger on his right hand.
The loss of Ridley leaves Texas with three big men for two front-court positions: 6-11 Prince Ibeh, 6-10 Connor Lammert and 6-8 Shaquille Cleare.
Lammert averages 5.9 points and 5.5 rebounds, more than the other two big men.
"We're not the only team in America that has to deal with a curveball like that," Smart said "I told our guys, we're not going to feel sorry for ourselves. They don't need to reinvent the wheel. They just need to do the things that we've asked them to do all along a little bit better."
One potential adjustment is to induce a faster pace with a smaller lineup, including the full-court pressure defense that some of Smart's teams at Virginia Commonwealth were known for before he came to Texas this season.
"I think we'll be good at it," guard Javan Felix said. "I think the most up tempo game we've had so far is the North Carolina (victory). I think we did really well with that."