The Rainbow Warriors are entering a transition season after losing eight players of a 2011-12 squad that finished 16-16 a year ago.
The good news heading into this year was the return of big man and leading scorer Vander Joaquim.
However, news surfaced from Hawaii late on Thursday that Joaquim suffered a torn MCL that will require the forward to miss the next four to six weeks.
A double-double machine, the practice time that will be lost due to Joaquim’s recent injury is irreplaceable. Last season as a junior, Joaquim averaged a team-high 14.3 points in addition to 9.5 rebounds per game.
While the timetable for his recovery should enable the 6-foot-10 Angola native to return to game action early on in the season, it’s never easy for any squad to lose their senior leader at this point in the year.
“It’s something you just deal with,” head coach Gib Arnold said to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “It’s being part of a team, guys working hard. You’ve got big bodies down there. It’s unfortunate, you never want it to happen.”
Given their losses from a season ago, expectations for the Rainbow Warriors remain up in the air. The health of Joaquim is crucial to any attempt at success that they may have.
Joaquim has been a key contributor for Arnold in each of the past two seasons. Joqauim has all the potential to be an All-Big West performer this upcoming season.
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