Anthony Mason Jr. is out with an injury - really, a re-injury. Read more, below the fold.
...head coach Norm Roberts announced on Tuesday that the swingman will miss the next four to six weeks while recovering from a hamstring injury re-aggravated during team practice over the weekend....
The Red Storm medical staff brought Mason Jr. along slowly since initially injuring the hamstring in early September, prior to St. John's 4-0 trip to Canada over Labor Day Weekend. Mason Jr. participated in low-impact weight training, conditioning exercises and physical therapy while recuperating until cleared by St. John's medical staff. After re-aggravating the hamstring over the weekend, orthopedist Answorth Allen, M.D., team doctor to the Red Storm and the New York Knicks of the NBA, re-examined Mason Jr. and recommended four to six more weeks of rehabilitation and strengthening exercises.
That is not good.
Some may say that this could be addition by subtraction; Mason has been a high-volume, low-efficiency scorer in his career. But having him play with teammates who can pick up the scoring slack might have meant that he could pick his spots, take better shots, focus on defense, and not have to take over the game.
The major publications, on the other hand, will stick an early fork in St. John's, thinking that their leader is out. But Paris Horne played the role of main scorer last year; DJ Kennedy put up points at times as well. Dwight Hardy's reputation is as a scorer, and the team already counted on the JUCO baller to come back home and become "Dwight Buckets".
This team is not bereft of talent.
This makes the Siena game a little tougher to win - and for this team to be taken seriously nationally, they need to win that contest. During the Boston College game (ahem, debacle), Mase did a solid job of using his legth wisely on defense, bothering shots from shorter players. It was that aspect of his game that made me think the Red Storm could beat Siena at the Philly Hoop Group Classic on November 27th... now I wouldn't go out on that limb. And truth be told, Mase could come back before then. But a re-injured hamstring, recurring leg problems...?
Just saying, don't hold your breath for Mase's return.