Bad news coming out of Bethlehem, PA, as it appears that CJ McCollum’s return during the Patriot League tournament is unlikely.
“It’s unlikely,” Brett Reed, the Mountain Hawks head coach, told CBSSports.com. “We are approaching this as if he won’t play in the tourney.”
McCollum was averaging 23.9 points and 5.0 rebounds when he broke a bone in his foot on January 5th against VCU. McCollum is a potential first round pick in this year’s NBA Draft, which would make rushing him back from this injury risky for his potential career-earning.
Lehigh plays Colgate in the opening round of the tournament on Wednesday, with the winner advancing to player the winner of the No. 2-No. 7 on Saturday.
McCollum’s injury was one of the more disappointing happenings this season. Lehigh, who knocked off Duke in the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament, competed valiantly without McCollum in the lineup, but they couldn’t keep pace with Bucknell. The battle for Patriot League superiority between McCollum’s Lehigh team and Mike Muscala’s Bucknell team was one of the more intriguing storylines of mid-major hoops this season.
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This is pretty nice from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who has made a habit out of getting themselves on the highlight reel.
Here’s another angle of the dunk:
The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.
The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.
They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.
That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.
Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me: