MBB : DEVENDORF TEARS ACL, OUT FOR SEASON
UPDATED 3:31 p.m.
Eric Devendorf tore the ACL in his left knee Saturday night and will miss the remainder of the season, Syracuse officials announced Sunday.
Pete Moore, SU’s athletic communications director, said an MRI this morning revealed the damage and confirmed the Orange’s worst fears that its second-leading scorer would be lost for the rest of the season.
Neither Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim nor Devendorf was made available for comment Sunday.
Devendorf averaged 17.0 points and 3.9 assists per game this season. He started all 10 of Syracuse’s games.
‘You can’t afford to lose guys like Eric,’ Boeheim said in his postgame press conference Saturday night. ‘He’s a tremendous player. There’s nothing you can do. You try to make it up as best as you can.’
The junior guard was hurt less than a minute into the second half of Syracuse’s 125-75 victory over East Tennessee State on Saturday. As Paul Harris made a lay-up, Devendorf fell awkwardly on his left knee away from the play. He landed into the Syracuse bench, right on assistant coach Mike Hopkins’ lap, and yelled in pain while grabbing the back of his knee.
Moore said the injury is very similar to Andy Rautins’, who also severed his ACL this summer. Without Devendorf, Rautins and Josh Wright, who has apparently left the team after not practicing this past week, Syracuse is left with two scholarship guards: freshmen Jonny Flynn and Scoop Jardine.
Sophomore forward Paul Harris, who played guard for much of last season, could move to the backcourt. But Harris is most comfortable as a forward and has flourished in that role, averaging 12.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
‘It’s going to be hard if we lose someone like (Eric),’ Harris said after the game Saturday night.
Wright did not practice all week after playing against Rhode Island on Dec. 8, leading Boeheim to ‘assume he’s not going to play basketball anymore this year.’
Moore said Syracuse will explore a medical hardship wavier for Devendorf. NCAA regulations state that a hardship waiver will be awarded to an athlete who has not participated in more than 30 percent of a school’s total schedule. Conference tournaments count as one game toward the hardship calculations, so if Syracuse makes the Big East tournament, it will play 32 games according to NCAA regulations.
Thirty percent of Syracuse’s schedule is 9.6 games, which is rounded to 10 games under NCAA rules. Devendorf played in 10 games before being injured, which means under the NCAA rules, he could be eligible for the medical hardship.
Devendorf will have a period of rehabilition before the surgery, which Moore said would likely occur in January.
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