The Massachusetts Minutemen were dealt a crushing hit on Tuesday with news that second-leading scorer Jesse Morgan suffered a torn ACL, as first reported by Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Morgan suffered the injury Thursday during a game against the Saint Louis Billikens and it was initially diagnosed as as a mild sprain before further tests revealed a torn ACL.
Behind wonder-guard Chaz Williams, Morgan was an incredibly important piece for UMass on both ends of the floor.
The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Minutemen, who are in the early games of conference play in a loaded Atlantic 10 Conference.
UMass has struggled to maintain relevance in the conference for a number of years and the combined play of Williams and Morgan seemed to bode well for UMass’ chances this season.
With Williams playing the role of facilitator and a newly-minted 3-point shot in his arsenal this season, a lot of space opened up for Morgan, who took full advantage of the opportunity. Williams was averaging 13.4 points and 1.7 steals per-game, while shooting 80-percent from the free-throw line, all career-highs.
Morgan’s best game came against the Ohio Bobcats, when Morgan dropped 35 points, including seven 3-pointers on 10 attempts.
Freshman Trey Davis will likely see increased minutes as a result of the loss of Morgan.
Morgan will have surgery some time next month and the expected time of recovery is six months.
Mike Gillmeister can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter: @mgillmei