Monday, February 16, 2009

PC's Geoff McDermott Struggles With Knee Injury

Looks like McDermott is still struggling from the knee injuries that have plagued him over the past few seasons, via :
After seemingly every recent Providence College basketball game, Weyinmi Efejuku looks at a stat sheet, finds his pal Geoff McDermott’s name and shakes his head in amazement. That’s what happened after Saturday night’s 78-68 win over Rutgers. Efejuku saw that McDermott led the Friars with 12 rebounds, 11 off the defensive glass. “I don’t know how he gets the rebounds he does, but he does it all the time,” Efejuku said.

As any PC fan can plainly see, McDermott is hurting. Again. In each of his first three seasons at Providence, the 240-pound forward developed problems with his knees late in the season. Inflammation from fluid limits his explosion on the court and requires the team’s medical staff to drain the area. There is no structural damage but the same woes are repeating themselves.

To McDermott’s credit, he does not complain, wear a brace or even limp that much. He was not available to discuss his knee problems and coach Keno Davis has deflected the issue, saying only that he chooses to rest McDermott and others with nagging injuries.

The knee woes affect McDermott mostly on the offensive end of the floor. Over his last five games, he’s averaging just 3.6 points on 32 percent (7-of-22) shooting. Opponents are giving him open 15-footers and he’s not able to elevate and power home baskets near the goal. He is averaging a career-low 8.1 points this season.

But that’s not to say McDermott’s value to the Friars has dimmed. His rebounding and passing skills continue to make him an irreplaceable part of the team’s attack. Over the last five games, he is averaging 9.4 rebounds, with double figures three times. He is averaging 8.9 boards a game for the season and has a chance to end his PC career with more rebounds (998) than points (1,056).

It is that tenacity off the glass that draws respect from McDermott’s teammates. “He’s a warrior,” said Efejuku. “His knee might be hurting him, but he’s still going to go out there and play. He’s going to be in the training room all the time before and after the game but during the game, he’ll always play hard for us.”

Davis has talked about how he always lessens the load for his players at this time of year during practice sessions. Leading up to the Rutgers game, the Friars had light workouts, basically walking through Rutgers’ offensive plans and then taking time to shoot free throws and jump shots.

McDermott, who is shooting just 47 percent from the foul line, has taken extra time at the stripe in practices, according to Davis. The coach says he’s happy with all that McDermott continues to bring to the Friars. “The 12 rebounds is incredible and not only that, he gets six assists,” Davis said after the Rutgers game. “He is finding a way to help us win games even when he’s not shooting the way he would like. To get six assists playing the power forward, that’s a huge number. He doesn’t need to score points for us. I’d rather him get the assists and rebounds and help us win.”
It's too bad that McDermott hasn't been able to play at 100% this season because of his knee problems. You would think that some rest would do him good, but apparently the injury won't go away. Sounds like he might need some type of minor surgery to me, but as a senior in college the last thing you want to do is miss time with a knee injury. Hopefully some rest will do McDermott good and he will be close to full strength soon. I will never question his heart or passion for the game though and for that I salute him.

More: Providence College

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