MORGANTOWN — Mike Carey walked into the WVU Coliseum for practice on Jan. 23, only to see the school’s giant video scoreboard hanging only a few feet above the floor.
On a day when WVU announced that star guard Tynice Martin would sit out the entire season and redshirt with a foot injury, the scoreboard was hardly even a distraction.
“We’ll just practice shooting 3s from the corner,” Carey joked.
The scoreboard was eventually fixed and put into its proper position, and Martin will eventually be fine, too.
No. 20 WVU (16-4, 4-4 Big 12), which hosts struggling Texas Tech (7-12, 1-7) at 7 p.m. today, has played without Martin all season.
She injured her left foot in August, while training in Colorado for the U.S. national under-23 team.
She had surgery — a steel plate and screws were put in her foot — in Colorado with the hope of being cleared to play sometime after Christmas.
“As the year went on, she continued to have some setbacks,” Carey said. “This time of the year, it was best to go ahead and make the announcement.”
Carey said Martin’s foot became infected, began to swell and had to be drained.
Martin, who was the Mountaineers’ leading scorer last season (18.6 points per game), underwent a second surgery Monday, in Morgantown, to have the plate and screws taken out of her foot.
“If she was going to have any kind of chance to play this year, the plate and screws would have had to stay in,” Carey said.
In her place, senior Teana Muldrow has become the leader, but she said she kept hope that Martin would join the team at some point this season.
“It was kind of a shock to us,” said Muldrow, who averages 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds this season. “Our thoughts are with Tynice and I hope she recovers well and can be ready to play next season.”
As for this season, WVU will face a Texas Tech team that has its own set of lengthy distractions.
Tech fired head coach Candi Whitaker on Jan. 1, a day after the Red Raiders fell to Baylor, 97-49.
Whitaker was in the middle of her fifth season at Tech, and posted a 54-82 record at the school.
Assistant Shimmy Gray-Miller was named the interim coach and Texas Tech has gone 1-5 since, including a 90-39 loss against Texas, on Saturday.
Texas Tech will also be without its leading scorer, junior guard Recee’ Caldwell (10.7 ppg), who is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
“They have a ton of size, though,” Carey said. “You’ll see them play three on their front line who are 6-foot-4, 6-5 and 6-6. We don’t have that. They’ll play a lot of zone and force us to make outside shots.”
And while Carey is in no mood to begin thinking about next season, he said Martin should be cleared to practice and work out by this summer.
“The good news is, she has two years left,” Carey said. “It gives her plenty of time to rehab and get ready for next year.”
Next season, WVU will also see guard Kysre Gon-drezick, a transfer from Michigan, become eligible.
She led all Big Ten freshmen in scoring during the 2016-’17 season, averaging 14.9 ppg.
North Carolina State transfer Kiana “Lucky” Rudd will become eligible next season after the first semester concludes, and the Mountaineers will return starting guards Kristina Pardee and Naomi Davenport, center Thresa Ekhelar and backup point guard Ashley Jones, in what may likely be a scenario where WVU is ranked in the preseason top 10.