This is just the news that Friartown didn’t want to hear.
The loss of superstar Freshman A.J. Reeves to a foot injury for 4-6 weeks is a much bigger loss for our beloved PC Men’s basketball team than any disappointing second half meltdown against a mediocre Atlantic-10 team.
After the Boston College victory, in which Reeves pour in 24 points on 8-18 shooting and nailed a game tying jumper to get the contest into over-time, I heard some large talk. People were proclaiming that Reeves would declare for the NBA after this season and become a first round pick.
A Rising Star
I never actually thought that that would be the case. However, one thing has been clear throughout the beginning of this season–Reeves is PC’s blue chip freshman.
Sure, Rhode Island’s own David Duke has certainly showed moments of excellence–particularly during the South Carolina game where he scored over 20 points. He has acquitted himself quite well throughout the year. It’s not easy to play point guard in Division I NCAA–particularly when you’re a Freshman. (Not everyone can be John Wall, Lonzo Ball, or De’Aaron Fox–despite the fact that most Friars fans would have made us think Duke was).
That being said, Reeves has been the better player over the course of the year, which is admittedly small sample size. I don’t even think it’s an argument.
Lack of Shooting
What’s more, Reeves represents the team’s best outside shooter. And the team lacks outside shooting. Malik White is a decent outside shooter. Isaiah Jackson is a streaky shooter. David Duke has shown some potential.
But none of them are pure, sharpshooters like Reeves.
Sadly, there’s also the question of whether he’ll be the same player when he returns. He likely will, but it’s still a question.
Further, by the time he returns, over a month from now, the team may have sustained too many losses to remain in NCAA contention.
Here’s the bright spot–it gives coach Ed Cooley a chance to play Makai Ashton-
Langford more. Let’s face it: Makai has been an disappointment thus far. It’s hard to discern what his issue is. He looks tentative on the floor. At times, he looks downright shell shocked.
But no one can deny his inherent talent. Outside of Duke, he may be the team’s most athletic player. Let’s not forget: he was a top 50 recruit just one year ago. It’s time to let him find his groove once again.
In any event, best of luck to the Friars over the next month. They’re going to need it.