Bill Coen’s Northeastern Huskies are a team expected by many to make a jump in the CAA standings this season, but that got a little tougher due to injuries suffered by senior Jonathan Lee and freshman Kwesi Abakah.
The school announced on Friday that Lee, a preseason All-CAA selection, would be out up to six weeks with a foot injury while a torn ACL will sideline Abakah for the entire 2012-13 season.
“I am extremely disappointed for Jon and Kwesi. They both have worked hard and were very focused on the upcoming season,” said Coen in the statement. “With the help of our talented medical staff, we anticipate that Kwesi will recover fully for next season.
“For Jon, as a senior co-captain, this is a setback, but his perseverance and work ethic are unparalleled. He will continue to provide us with valuable leadership during his rehabilitation and we look forward to his return to the court.”
Lee, a 6-2 guard from Flint, Michigan, averaged 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a junior and sat in the top 15 in the CAA of nine different statistical categories.
The Huskies return their top four scorers from last season’s 14-17 (9-9 CAA) team, but to lose a player of Lee’s caliber is a tough blow.
Abakah averaged 14.3 minutes per game during the Huskies’ summer trip to Canada, and the 6-8 native of Suwanee, GA was expected to provide additional front court depth this season.
“This adversity will provide others on our team with opportunities, which I believe will make us a stronger team as the season progresses,” said Coen. “I am confident in this team and in our chemistry and resolve.”
With Lee out more responsibility likely falls on the shoulders of senior guard Joel Smith and sophomore wing Quincy Ford, both of whom were key contributors in 2011-12.