SEATTLE — Shawn Kemp Jr. could see the pain on sophomore forward Jernard Jarreau’s face as he lay on the Hec Edmundson Pavilion court.
Now, he sees it at the house they share.
“It’s hard losing anybody like that, but he’s one of my roommates so it’s hard seeing him walk around the house on crutches and stuff,” Kemp said before Wednesday’s practice. “It’s going to take a lot out of our team. It’s going to be hard, but we’ll get through it.”
The news on Jarreau’s injured right knee isn’t good: a magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) exam revealed a tear in his anterior-cruciate ligament, meaning the he will miss the rest of the season. UW (1-0) will move on without his services with an 8 p.m. game Thursday against UC Irvine at Hec Ed, the first installment of the 2K Sports Classic.
That’s a big blow for Jarreau, who, after redshirting two years
ago and filling a reserve role last season, had moved into Washington’s starting lineup at power forward. And he’d also received public praise from coach Lorenzo Romar, who named Jarreau as one of the Huskies’ most improved players from a year ago.
The Huskies even scheduled a non-conference game at Tulane, located in Jarreau’s hometown of New Orleans, so he could play in front of friends and family.
But just 95 seconds into UW’s season opener against Seattle University on Sunday, Jarreau went down in a heap, screaming in pain after being fouled on a layup attempt by Isiah Umipig. He had to be helped off the court.
“It didn’t look good at the time,” Romar said. “Now we know the results.
“He’s trying to be brave with it. He’s trying to show a good attitude. You know it hurts inside, but he’s hanging in there.”
It’s a big blow, too, for UW’s frontcourt. The Huskies haven’t had big-man depth like this in recent memory, but it’s already beginning to thin. In addition to Jarreau’s season-ending injury, junior forward Desmond Simmons will be out until at least mid-December after having knee surgery last week.
They should at least regain senior forward Perris Blackwell for Thursday’s game. Romar said Blackwell, a low-post force who missed Sunday’s opener against the Redhawks because of a concussion, has been cleared to practice and will play against UC Irvine.
Washington can use all the size it can get. The Anteaters, picked by media to win the Big West conference, feature three 7-footers on their roster, though one is redshirting. Freshman Mamadou Ndiaye, all 7 feet, 6 inches of him, highlights that group.
“It becomes an issue sometimes when you’re trying to get to the rim,” Romar said. “Obviously they protect the basket pretty well with that type of size.”
Kemp will likely be relied upon for an effort similar to what he put forth against Seattle. The 6-9 junior played 30 minutes in that game, a bold venture for a guy who missed part of training camp due to illness.
But he said his conditioning seems to be fine, and that he’s ready to play big minutes again if needed.
“There were times I was a little winded, but I was still contributing,” Kemp said. “So it’s going pretty good.”
Romar said the Huskies might also play some with four guards, as they did at times against Seattle. Mike Anderson, a 6-4 junior-college transfer, provides the kind of toughness and savvy that could allow him to play power forward when the Huskies go small.
“We’ll find a way,” Romar said.
HUSKIES SIGN TWO
Romar confirmed that guard Donaven Dorsey and forward Tristan Etienne each signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to play for the Huskies next season.
Dorsey is a 6-6 guard from Lacey’s Timberline High School. Etienne, a 6-10 forward, plays in Abbotsford, B.C. Both players gave oral commitments to the Huskies in July.
Univ. of California Irvine (0-2) at Washington (1-0)
8 p.m., Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Seattle
TV: Pac-12 Network. Radio: 950-AM.
The series: UC Irvine leads, 1-0. The Anteaters won the only previous meeting, 56-55, on Dec. 28, 2000, in Seattle.
Statistics for 2013-14
Will Davis III F 11.0 9.5 1.0 60.0 1.000
Mamadou Ndiaye C 7.0 5.0 0.0 83.3 26.7
Alex Young G 18.5 4.5 4.0 53.8 60.0
Chris McNealy G 21.0 4.5 2.0 46.7 55.6
Luke Nelson G 9.5 1.0 2.0 35.3 66.7
Nigel Williams-Goss G 6.0 3.0 6.0 28.6 1.000
Andrew Andrews G 21.0 4.0 0.0 50.0 87.5
C.J. Wilcox G 22.0 7.0 4.041.7 1.000
Shawn Kemp Jr.F 10.0 3.0 0.0 62.5 0.0
Perris Blackwell F—————
Scouting report: UC Irvine is picked to win the Big West Conference after finishing 21-16 overall, 11-7 in conference a year ago. The Anteaters, however, are off to an inauspicious start, dropping their first two games to Fresno State and Pacific. UCI is a big team, boasting three 7-footers on its roster, though only two of them play. One of those players, Mamdou Ndiaye, is listed at 7-foot-6 and 290 pounds, though he’s averaged just 18.5 minutes in UCI’s first two games. The Anteaters are led in scoring through two games by guard Chris McNealy, a senior who averaged 9.2 points a game last season.
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