Vanderbilt was able to hold off Marshall on Thursday night, beating the Thundering Herd 69-67 with Damian Jones and James Siakam leading the way with 15 points apiece. But the victory was a Pyrrhic one, as on Friday morning head coach Kevin Stallings announced that junior center Josh Henderson tore both the ACL and MCL in his left knee.
That means the Commodores are down to eight scholarship players for the remainder of the season, and it makes the progression of Jones all the more important as they approach the start of SEC play. Henderson was averaging 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 19 minutes of action per game, starting three of the eight games in which he played.
Jones’ 15-point, six-rebound performance came on the heels of a two-game stretch in which he accounted for a total of eight points and 11 rebounds. As a top-100 recruit out of high school Jones was expected to be an impact newcomer for Vanderbilt, but the presence of Henderson certainly helped in the newcomer’s adjustment to college basketball.
With Henderson no longer available, Jones will be asked to provide even more in the paint. Vanderbilt’s next four games are at home, beginning with Austin Peay on Tuesday night.