Jontel Evans

Virginia guard Jontel Evans out six weeks after stress fracture surgery

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Virginia guard Jontel Evans will be out for six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced Wednesday.

Evans has started 70 games for the Cavaliers in his three seasons with the team, averaging 7.3 points and 3.9 assists per game last season.

“Jontel, obviously, he’s got a strong mind, and he’s a quick healer, so hopefully he’ll be back soon,” head coach Tony Bennett said in a release. “It was something that needed to be done, and everything went well. It’s unfortunate. You don’t want to have to miss your preseason.”

“It’s an unfortunate situation for [Evans], going into his senior year,” said guard Joe Harris in the release.

“He’s team captain, he had a great summer, played really well in Europe, and now he’s got kind of a minor setback. But he said the surgery and everything went well today. [Evans has] real high spirits, and he’s got the right attitude, I feel, to come back.”

Evans is even more important this season as the Cavaliers look to compensate for the loss of Mike Scott, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder from last season.

Harris, a 6-6 native of Washington, averaged 11.5 points per game last season and could help to fill the void, but Evans’ continued growth on the offensive end once he returns will be key for Virginia.

The Cavaliers finished 22-10 last season and earned a berth to the NCAA tournament in 2011-12. They open their season on Nov. 9 against George Mason.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.