Festus Ezeli has certainly had better offseasons.
Having already been suspended by the NCAA for six games for accepting illegal benefits from a booster and recovering from offseason surgery on the patella tendon is his left knee, Ezeli sprained the mcl and the pcl in his right knee on Tuesday. He’s expected to miss six-to-eight weeks.
“He fell awkwardly,” head coach Kevin Stallings told the Tennessean. “I don’t remember if it was a shot fake or what the play was, but he came down from a jump and landed awkwardly and immediately went down.”
Ezeli was already scheduled to miss the first six games of the season, but he was due back for the Xavier game, as well as Vanderbilt’s Dec. 2nd trip to Louisville and their Dec. 7th jaunt to Davidson. Barring a miraculous recovery, Ezeli will now be out for those games.
Ezeli is without a doubt the most talented big man that Stallings has at his disposal, but he’s far from the only body on the interior. Steve Tchiengang is a senior and a four-year member of the program, as is Lane Goulbourne. Rod Odom is a promising sophomore while a pair of freshmen — Josh Henderson and Shelby Moats — will likely see bigger minutes with Ezeli gone.