As if the hot start of Xavier and the emergence of Dayton and Saint Louis weren’t enough, Temple’s trek in the Atlantic-10 just became more difficult.
The school announced Wednesday that Michael Eric will miss six weeks with a right patella injury. He suffered the injury during a practice last Friday.
Eric, a 6-foot-11 center from Nigeria, was leading the conference in rebounds at 11.3 per game. He also was averaging 10.5 points and 2.0 blocks per contest.
Eric did not play in Sunday’s loss to Bowling Green.
He missed the final 10 games of last season with a fractured right patella, but was seemingly recovered from the injury. Eric had already racked up two double-doubles this season, going for 12 points and 15 boards against Western Michigan, and 14 points and 12 rebounds vs. Wichita State.
In Eric’s place, freshman big man Anthony Lee will need to step up. He started in Eric’s place on Sunday, posting 11 points and nine rebounds against Bowling Green. For a team that doesn’t use too many bench players, though, this is a major loss for the next month and a half. The only other player besides Lee that is taller than 6-foot-6 is Jimmy McDonnell, who hasn’t played a minute this season. Forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson will need to contribute more on the glass.
Fortunately, Temple does not face Xavier until February 11, when Lee should be back to health. Will the Owls still be in contention at that point, though?
Photo: US Presswire