Vermont loses freshman guard for the season

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Vermont brought in a freshman class of six players who were expected to contribute nearly immediately, but the Catamounts lost a key member of that class to injury this week as the school announced that guard Ernie Duncan would be out for the rest of the season.

The 6-foot-3 Duncan only played 56 minutes this season and hasn’t played since Nov. 26.

According to a story from Alex Abrami of the Free Press, Vermont’s athletic medicine services director, Allison Shepard, spoke on Duncan’s injury.

“Ernie Duncan will not return to the basketball court this season due to a complex back issue,” Shepard said.

“After several consults with the specialists and extensive diagnostic imagery, we feel it best to take this step in order to give Ernie the best chance for a complete recovery.”

Vermont head coach John Becker also commented on Duncan being lost for the year. The guard will also likely redshirt and have four years left.

“The best thing for Ernie is that we shut him down for the season and get him fully healthy,” Becker said. “I think he was relieved quite frankly. It’s been a lot on him and really been a roller-coaster since he got here in June with the back issue.

“Although he is disappointed he’s not out there helping his teammates, I think he’s excited to be able to get healthy and have a full four years of basketball here at Vermont.”

Vermont is 4-4 on the season and 1-0 in the America East. Duncan was averaging 3.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game this season. He was viewed as an impact recruit in the league and will hopefully be healthy for next season for Vermont.