Tennessee basketball was a feel-good story on Saturday as coach Rick Barnes secured his 700th career victory in a 75-53 win over Jacksonville State, but it wasn't all rosy as after the game Volunteers star senior Lamonte Turner announced he would undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Turner, the team's best player and leading assist man, had been dealing with a shoulder ailment over the last few months.
Turner leads the team this season in assists and ranks second on the team in points per game, leading UT to an 8-3 start to the season. He underwent an arthroscopic shoulder procedure earlier this spring, but his upcoming shoulder procedure won't be his second. As Wes Rucker of 247Sports noted in April, Turner has had at least one procedure on each shoulder during his time at Tennessee and missed games sporadically because of those lingering issues. Not only will it end his season, but also his college career.
"It's been hard, man," he said after the game. "Really hard. I cried last night. I cried today. I'll cry some more. It's just hard."
Credit to Turner for opting to shut it down -- and for knowing he had one last go-round. Saturday he played in what will be his final college contest, scoring eight points and adding 11 assists. After the game he was seen celebrating the win with his teammates in the locker room.
Turner ends his season with career-bests of 12.7 points per game, 6.7 assists per game and 1.9 steals per game.