Monday, October 18, 2010

DaShonte Riley Opting for Surgery

Late Friday news came out that Syracuse University center DaShonte Riley will be undergoing surgery to mend his injured right foot. The injury is believed to be an old fracture, possibly even suffered late last season. Trainer Brad Pike said the surgery will either remove a bone fragment or "fixate the bone."

This essentially will end the 7' sophomore's season and leave Syracuse extremely thin at the center spot. The Orangemen now will have to rely on incoming freshman Fabricio de Melo to fill the shoes left by center Arinze Onuaku (graduated) and the now injured Riley.

Head coach Jim Boeheim said "Ricky's going to play forward for the most part this year, if not all the time. Which leaves us with the two freshmen." The other freshman Boeheim alluded to is Baye Moussa Keita out of Oak Hill Academy. Many saw Keita's freshman year at Syracuse to be spent learning and watching from the bench while adding much needed muscle, however now he may be required to play a much larger role this season.

Keita, who was born in Senegal, is 6'11" and roughly 210 pounds. The offensive side of his game has been described as "raw," however he is very athletic and runs the floor very well. He has a very long wingspan which will fit in great in the 2-3 zone for the Orangemen, and is a very sound shot blocker and a great jumper. He needs to add muscle to his 6'11" frame if he wants to compete inside with the very physical centers in the Big East. While many observers hoped that Baye Moussa Keita would get this season to increase his strength and offensive game, it has become clear that he will not be afforded that opportunity.

While there is a possibility for a January return for DaShonte Riley, it is unlikely that it occurs. Riley expressed concern of his own for a January return, stating "I don't know what kind of condition and what kind of shape I'll be in January. So, more than likely, I'll take the year off."

And just like that Fab Melo is our starting center for 2010/2011.


Zach Menchini said...

Riley is a big loss, for sure, but it could be worse. As long as Keita can hang defensively we should be fine.

Michael Isserlis said...

i mean we are extremely thin at center.. and i'm not just talking about Keita..

but in all seriousness they are an injury away from a big problem..