Virginia freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon will miss the remainder of the season due to a broken bone in his left foot, the team announced Tuesday. Brogdon will undergo corrective surgery on Wednesday, and, according to a press release, his recovery time is uncertain.
Consequently, the Cavaliers will have seven scholarship players available for postseason play, which begins Friday in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament in Atlanta.
Virginia’s top reserve for most of the season, Brogdon shot 43.8 percent from the field and averaged 6.5 points in 23.8 minutes per game in ACC play. Without Brogdon, the Cavaliers’ options – as far as scholarship players – are limited to freshman forward Darion Atkins and freshman guard Paul Jesperson, who initially was supposed to redshirt this season.
Brogdon injured the foot Feb. 17, the day before Virginia defeated Maryland, 71-44. He played in that game and scored 14 points in 27 minutes. Following a 61-59 Virginia win three days later at Virginia Tech in which Brogdon scored two points in 13 minutes, the player said he has “really flat feet,” which had led to foot problems in the past. This particular injury, he said, was on the top of the foot near the ankle.
Brogdon visited a foot/ankle specialist in Charlotte, N.C., three days after logging 25 minutes during Virginia’s 54-51 loss Feb. 25 against North Carolina. He did not play in the Cavaliers’ final two regular season games.
Jesperson, who presumably would garner more playing time in Brogdon’s absence, has averaged 13.5 minutes in the past two games. He logged 18 minutes during Virginia’s 75-72 overtime win Sunday at Maryland, though that had more to do with the team’s foul trouble than anything else. He and Atkins have combined to tally two points and seven rebounds in the past two games.
Rather, it would seem Coach Tony Bennett will try to get as much out of his five starters as possible. The only Virginia starter who hasn’t played at least 35 minutes in each of the team’s past two games is sophomore forward Akil Mitchell.
But the Cavaliers’ have some health issues among their starters, as well. Sophomore guard Joe Harris sat out Tuesday’s practice with concussion symptoms that also had kept him out of practice Friday and Saturday. He was medically cleared to play Sunday at Maryland and logged 37 minutes. Bennett said Tuesday he expects Harris to practice Wednesday and be available to play in the ACC tournament.
Harris, the team’s second-leading scorer, has played with a broken left (non-shooting) hand for the past six games. During that span, he has shot 34.1 percent from the field and 29.4 percent (5 for 17) from three-point range. He has averaged 6.3 points during those six contests.
On the season, Harris is shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range, while averaging 11.4 points per game.