It was bad enough for Tom Pecora’s Fordham Rams to drop their first three games of the regular season, but things got even worse as senior forward Chris Gaston had to deal with pain and swelling in one of his knees.
As a result of the issue Gaston is undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on the knee and will have to sit for the next month or so. For a program still looking to find its way in the second season under Pecora, this is the last thing Fordham needed to have happen.
Gaston, who averaged 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game last season, was a preseason All-Atlantic 10 selection and will be a key piece for the Rams if they’re to qualify for the Atlantic 10 tournament for the first time since 2008.
With Gaston out the Rams become very young inside, as freshmen Ryan Rhoomes and Travion Leonard will compete for minutes along with sophomore Luke Zivkovic.
Rhoomes (21 mpg) and Leonard (16.7 mpg) were already part of the rotation, averaging a combined 7.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, while Zivkovic averaged just eight minutes per contest in Fordham’s first three games.
While Zivkovic will see an increase in minutes, more of the scoring load will likely fall upon the shoulders of leading scorers Branden Frazier (14.3 ppg) and Bryan Smith (13.0 ppg) with wing Jeffrey Short needing to raise is 6.3 ppg average.
Fordham, who has lost all three games by double figures, plays its next two games away from the Bronx as they’ll take on Penn and Fairfield in Preseason NIT consolation pod action (hosted by Lehigh) on Monday and Tuesday.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.
Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.
The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.
Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.
SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.
Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.
South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.
The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.
Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.
A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.
Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.
Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.
Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.
Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.
A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.
Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.
The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.
N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.