The MRI results are in, and what we all suspected is now official: Nerlens Noel has torn the ACL in his left knee and will be out for the rest of the season.
Surgery is expected to be in the next two-to-three weeks, as they wait for the swelling in the knee to subside. The recovery time for a torn ACL is in the neighborhood of six-to-eight months.
It’s a tough pill to swallow. Noel was one of the most entertaining players in the country to watch, a shot-blocking pogo stick that was the one player on the Kentucky roster that could be relied on to play well and play hard on a nightly basis. By all accounts, he’s just a great kid off the court, too.
And it’s fitting, really: if last night ends up being the last time that Noel dons a Kentucky jersey, his final play as a Wildcat will be tracking down a player on a breakaway and blocking a layup attempt. It would be poetic if it wasn’t so depressing.
That said, torn ACLs are not career-ending injuries. He’ll be able to come back from this. Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.
Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.
A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.