With San Diego State’s most productive three-point shooter from a season ago in Aqeel Quinn out of eligibility, rising redshirt junior shooting guard Matt Shrigley was expected to be an important player for the Aztecs in 2015-16. Unfortunately for SDSU they’ll be without Shrigley for a significant portion of the upcoming season, as it was reported by Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune that Shrigley underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee.
Per the report Shrigley suffered the injury in a pickup game, with the procedure taking place Tuesday. While there’s no exact timeframe stated when it comes to how long the Aztecs could be without the 6-foot-6 Shrigley, he’s expected to miss most of (if not all) of the 2015-16 campaign per the report.
Shrigley’s father said the surgery showed no meniscus or cartilage damage and his son is targeting an earlier return, hoping to be in uniform by February for the final half of the conference schedule and postseason.
“He’s always been serious but he was a different person this summer, really putting in the time,” Rich Shrigley said. “He was getting himself up and working out from 6:30 to 9 every morning with (former San Diego Clippper) Jim Brogan, lifting weights, working on his shot. But Matt’s determined to get back as soon as possible and help the team any way he can. He’ll work through it. It’s another hurdle. He’s a young kid and he’ll bounce back quickly.”
By no means was San Diego State a high-level perimeter shooting team last season, as they shot just 32 percent from beyond the arc. But the loss of Shrigley means that sophomore Malik Pope, who made 20 of his 48 attempts from beyond the arc, is SDSU’s best returning shooter as far as percentages go.
Two players to watch in this regard are sophomore Trey Kell and freshman Jeremy Hemsley, especially if the latter proves capable of running the show for head coach Steve Fisher. A productive (from the start) Hemsley would in turn allow Kell, who spent most of his time at the point last season, to move back to his more natural role off the ball.
Both would have been expected to step forward as contributors for San Diego State with a healthy Shrigley on the court. Without him, those two underclassmen become even more important for a team looking to win the Mountain West and play well into the NCAA tournament.