This season has been a shit show on so many levels it’s ridiculous. As I sit back and watch recruiting analysts from all over the country sit back and say “we all knew this freshman class was awful”, I have to laugh and shake my head. No one was saying that at the beginning of the season.
There is however, a reason why this is turning into a forgettable season. Injuries. All over the country we are losing high level players to injuries resulting in a ton of lost time and nowhere is that more evident than the ACC.
Before the season ever started we lost Wynston Tabbs who was due to be one of best individual scorers in the league. Clyde Trapp and Jonathan Baehre were both lost to knee injuries for Clemson and while both have returned since, Trapp is not up to speed and Baehre is now missing more time because he can’t get to 100%. Markell Johnson was lost to the North Carolina State Wolfpack for opening night after suffering an ankle injury, Malik Williams to a foot, David Johnson to a shoulder and Keith Stone was still recovering from knee surgery.
Then the season started and we have yet to receive a reprieve. Tre Jones, one of the best point guards in the nation, has missed a couple games and continues to be dinged up. Jose Alvarado, the catalyst for a Georgia Tech team with potential, is lost to a high ankle sprain for seven games and has thankfully returned recently. His spot on the DL was not vacant long as Cole Anthony suffered a torn meniscus, soon after Jeremiah Francis and Brandon Robinson were finally able to get on the court for the Heels. Then Anthony’s backup, Anthony Harris, is lost to an ACL for the entire season. Let’s not forget to mention that big man Sterling Manley will not play at all this season as he continues to battle knee issues. Luckily, Braxton Key was not lost for Virginia, who apparently has a miracle worker of an orthopedist.
Chase Hunter. Khavon Moore. Robby Carmody. Deng Gak (again).
As of this weekend, the names continue to pile up. Au’Diese Toney takes an elbow in practice and missed Saturday’s game. CJ Bryce is concussed. Rex Pfleuger missed the second half of Notre Dame’s game this weekend with a sore knee. Robert Braswell is now seeking a medical redshirt because the pain in his legs is too much to bear.
Now today we find out that Duke forward Wendell Moore has broken a bone in his right hand that will require surgery. The Blue Devils certainly have depth on the wing, but I am not sure anyone has the upside that Moore does regardless of his performance so far this season.
In a season that was already expected to be a down one in the ACC, the league has been hit with a rash of injuries it simply could not afford and it’s costing a ton. Let’s hope these young men all recover and a dozen dance in ’21