Arkansas will be without one of its most important players on Tuesday night when No. 11 Auburn comes to town -- and likely longer. The program announced Tuesday evening just prior to tipoff that sophomore guard Isaiah Joe underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee Tuesday and is ruled out indefinitely.
"As I mentioned in the press conference Monday, Isaiah did have an MRI on his knee," Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman said Tuesday. "The results came back late Monday and it was determined Isaiah would undergo surgery Tuesday."
Joe is averaging 16.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and shooting 34.0% from 3-point range on the season and has been an integral part to Arkansas' surprising 16-5 start to the season. He's second on the team in scoring and second in 3-point shooting. His deadeye accuracy from deep has generated some NBA buzz surrounding him as a potential first-round prospect.
It's an unfortunate blow for one of college basketball's bright young stars, and one for Arkansas, too, which has already been dealing with injuries to Desi Sills and Jimmy Whitt Jr. Leading scorer Mason Jones has also been dealing with a shoulder injury.
Without Joe for the foreseeable future, Arkansas must hope Jones's shoulder is spry enough to carry an even bigger load. The Hogs face No. 11 Auburn on Tuesday then have road trips to Missouri and Tennessee over the next week as they look to end their recent skid, which has consisted of three losses in five games after a 14-2 start to the season.
According to Jerry Palm's latest Bracketology, Arkansas is on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament and, prior to facing Auburn, the Razorbacks were a No. 8 seed.