One of Villanova's strengths is its depth. Good thing, because the nationally ranked Wildcats (10-1), who play their Big East opener Thursday at DePaul (4-7), will be without 6-10 sophomore center Casiem Drummond.

He has a stress fracture in his right ankle, and right now there is no timetable for his return. Even in a best-case scenario, he'd probably be out for at least 2 weeks.

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Drummond, who missed the last three games, has started six times in eight games, averaging 7.1 points and 7.9 rebounds in 18.6 minutes.

"We thought we'd have him [back] for the Big East," said coach Jay Wright, who has eight other guys averaging at least 11.8 minutes. "When [doctors] first scanned it they saw something but they couldn't really tell. So we just rested him. When they redid it, they found the stress fracture . . .

"It's going to be a concern. We'll go to [6-5 junior] Dwayne Anderson more, even though he's smaller. He's just older and thicker, and you need that in the Big East. It's just what we're going to have to be.

That's something we talk about - our size, rebounding and our ability to defend in the post. We'll see."

In six games, all off the bench, Anderson has averaged 3.2 points and 1.5 boards in 7.8 minutes.

He also does many of those little things that can make a difference. *