Vanderbilt freshman Darius Garland, a projected NBA Draft lottery pick, goes down with knee injury vs. Kent State

Vanderbilt freshman Darius Garland, a projected NBA Draft lottery pick, goes down with knee injury vs. Kent State
Game 5: Kent State Golden Flashes at Vanderbilt Commodores — Open Thread
Vanderbilt freshman Darius Garland, one of the prized jewels of Bryce Drews heralded top-15 ranked 2018 signing class, sustained a knee injury on Friday during the Commodores contest against Kent State. Vandy would go on to lose a stunner, 77-75.

Garland, a former five-star point guard prospect, left the game early and did not return to action. Theres no indication yet as to how serious the injury is, but Vanderbilt is holding out hope for good news as he undergoes further examination.

“Hes going to get some further testing tonight. Hopefully, we get some good news in the next 48 hours,” Drew said. “We will obviously be careful with his injury. He obviously has a bright future in basketball, and we just want to make sure we give him the best care we can for him to figure out whats the plan of attack.”

Garland, a projected NBA first-round pick next summer, suffered the injury on a left-handed baseline layup. He exited only two minutes into the game, limped to the locker room and returned to the bench wearing a sweatsuit after halftime. During the second half, he could stand but could barely walk.

Garland is the No. 15 overall player in my 2019 NBA Draft prospect rankings. In a recent mock draft, CBS Sports Insider Gary Parrish pegged him as a top-6 pick because of the combination of his excellent handles and scoring ability. Hes a terrific prospect that was emerging as the top ball-handler in the upcoming draft — and in a crop of talent that is lacking at his position.

Simi Shittu led Vanderbilt with 20 points. Joe Toye had 15 points. Lee, Garlands primary replacement, had 13 points, five assists and six turnovers. Maxwell Evans also helped fill in for Garland, recording eight points and four rebounds in a season-high 21 minutes.

Well keep you updated on the status of Garland when more information becomes available, but for now, the NCAA Tournament hopes of Vanderbilt — and potentially the lottery hopes of Garland for 2019 — may rest on the yet-to-be-determined severity of the injury.

Shittu is now averaging 9.4 rebounds per game… … Vanderbilt has now made a 3 in 1,036 straight games… The Commodores are now 14-2 all-time against teams from the Mid-American Conference… Kent State was facing an SEC program for the first time since Dec. 9, 2010 when it lost 65-52 at Florida… Walker made his season debut Friday after missing the first five games of the season for KSU due to suspension… Attendance on Friday was announced as 9,061 giving VU an average of 8,783 after four home games.

Share Share Game Thread: Kent State Golden Flashes at Vanderbilt Commodores tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports Kent State Golden Flashes (4-1) at Vanderbilt Commodores (4-0) When: 4:00 PM CT, Friday, November 23, 2018

The freshman checked out at the 18-minute mark and limped to the bench where he began rubbing his left knee. Athletic trainers sat him at the end of the bench to look at the knee, then sent him to the locker room for the remainder of the first half.

For all the excitement about Vanderbilts 2018-19 basketball season, its honestly hard to get up for the current slog of games. Today, at 4:00 PM CT on the day after Thanksgiving, Vanderbilt hosts Kent State. Kent State is 4-1, but has faced exactly one team inside the KenPom Top 300 — a home game against Liberty, which the Golden Flashes lost by a score of 77-70. Vanderbilt beat Liberty 79-70 the last time out, and the Commodores are 12.5-point favorites today.

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