Stress fracture to sideline Gonzaga C Killian Tillie eight weeks

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Gonzaga’s front court rotation took a significant hit Tuesday, as it was announced that junior center Killian Tillie will miss approximately eight weeks due to a stress fracture in his ankle. Per the announcement Tillie re-aggravated the injury in a fall taken during practice, with an MRI revealing the stress fracture that needed to be repaired surgically.

Tillie’s coming off of a sophomore season in which he averaged 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, shooting 58.0 percent from the field and 47.9 percent from three. Tillie was named to the preseason watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top center.

Without the 6-foot-11 junior, Gonzaga will have one less option in the front court to call upon for most of the non-conference portion of its schedule. Gonzaga enters the 2018-19 season having to account for the departure of Johnathan Williams III, who led the Bulldogs in both points and rebounds as a senior.

Preseason All-American Rui Hachimura will lead the way for the Bulldogs, with San Jose State transfer Brandon Clarke and freshman Filip Petrusev also expected to have an impact in the front court. With Killie due to miss eight weeks, Gonzaga will be without the junior for the Maui Invitational (November 19-21) and key non-conference games against Washington (December 5), Tennessee (December 9) and North Carolina (December 15).

Gonzaga opens WCC play January 5 against Santa Clara.