Ratliff to finally see some action?

At long last, it seems that A.J. Ratliff will finally be dressing and playing for the Hoosiers this season.

In his weekly press conference Thursday, Kelvin Sampson said Ratliff’s injured ankle is doing a lot better and he’ll most likely play Saturday when the Hoosiers host Chicago State.

“If he can play, he’ll play,” Sampson said. “He’s a lot better. If we had a game tonight, he’d play.”

Ratliff’s return, combined with the end of Armon Bassett’s suspension, means the Hoosiers will have all seven guards available for the first time all season.

Sampson added that Eli Holman’s injured left wrist will keep him out of Saturday’s game.

“It would be one thing if it was his right (and non-shooting) wrist,” he said. “But it’s his left, and he’s still in a lot of pain.”

A reporter also asked Sampson if he thought he was team was ready for Big Ten play.

“Absolutely,” he replied.

He said he thought IU has gone through a tough non-conference schedule, citing games against Southern Illinois, Kentucky, Xavier and Georgia Tech. He also said the Connecticut matchup on Jan. 26 will be another stiff test.