The Torch

Marcus LoVett to Miss Remainder of the Season

After weeks of rumors and uncertainty, the guard's dad tweeted that his son wouldn't play again this year.

Torch Photo/Nick Bello

Torch Photo/Nick Bello

Derrell Bouknight, Sports Editor

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The strangest turn in the Marcus LoVett injury saga came Wednesday afternoon.

After weeks of speculation and questions regarding the mysterious status of the St. John’s guard, Red Storm fans were given an update late in the day from LoVett’s dad, Marcus LoVett Sr., who tweeted that his son would miss the rest of the season.

 

It was the most significant news the public received since LoVett went down with what was diagnosed as a sprained MCL on Nov. 26 in a 46-43 win over Central Florida in the AdvoCare Invitational. Since then, with little information coming from the University about the injury, LoVett had been listed as day-to-day for several weeks with no timetable for his return.

Speaking to Torch Sports on Twitter, LoVett Sr. talked about how the injury was complicated, and that the best decision moving forward is for his son to focus on getting better.

“There are timetables with any injury,” LoVett Sr. said in a message. “Pain and swelling is an issue at this point. It’s rehabilitation now primarily. That’s what was agreed upon between [doctors and LoVett].”

Following Tuesday’s 69-66 loss to Georgetown, Head Coach Chris Mullin told the media that there was a possibility of LoVett taking the court for practice on Wednesday.

“He’s probably going to get on the floor tomorrow,” Mullin said. “He’s been doing his workouts with strength and conditioning, but we’ll see. He’s been working on that knee, and we will see how it goes. I’m planning to get him on the court tomorrow.”

But according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post, his practice time, which was supposed to be a one-on-one workout with Mullin, never took place. As his dad alluded to, LoVett reported soreness and swelling in his left knee. Hours later, the tweet was posted.

In a quick turn of events, St. John’s second-leading scorer went from sitting out a string of games to possibly having played his final contest in Queens. After last season, LoVett reportedly debated playing professional basketball overseas before making a decision to stay at St. John’s for at least another year. His 14.9 points per game average trailed only Shamorie Ponds, the guard from Brooklyn who, alongside LoVett, comprised one of college basketball’s most exciting backcourts.

Before LoVett went down with the injury, the Red Storm were 6-1. Since then, they’ve gone 4-6, including an 0-5 start to Big East play that featured a 91-74 home loss to DePaul and Tuesday’s loss to the Hoyas.

Suddenly, the season has changed. No. 1 Villanova comes to town to face off against St. John’s this Saturday at Madison Square Garden, followed by road contests with 15-2 Xavier and Georgetown again on Jan. 20. A break in conference play will come as the Red Storm takes on Duke Feb. 3. LoVett’s absence in these pivotal games will be felt, not only in scoring and on defense, but verbally and through his leadership.

According to the Post, LoVett Sr.’s announcement caught Mullin and his staff by surprise. It came without notice or direct contact. When asked about his announcement on Twitter coming before an official one from the school, LoVett Sr. did not elaborate, saying that the main focus is on his son’s knee.

Last weekend, LoVett underwent his second MRI, about a month after doctors cleared him to test his injured left knee in practice. Several days ago, LoVett said that he “felt good,” which led many to believe he would return to the court at some point in the near future.

None of that happened.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the University released a statement, officially announcing that LoVett would not play for the rest of the season.

“Team physicians made the decision to sideline LoVett on Wednesday to focus on his rehabilitation, as he was not able to progress to on-court basketball activities,” the statement read.

Mullin also provided a statement, expressing his support for LoVett and his health moving forward.

“Marcus has a bright future ahead,” he said. “So while it is disappointing that he will miss the remainder of the season, his long term health is the primary focus.”

The season that was supposed to put the Red Storm back atop the Big East standings now seems like a distant memory, blanketed by the injury of one of the Big East’s Mullin’s best players. Not many people predicted a winless start to conference play through the first two weeks, but that’s the reality the team faces. Dealing with not having one of their leaders present will prove to be a challenge both mentally and on the court.

On Nov. 26, LoVett fouled out of the game against UCF, walking off the floor with 2:51 left to play in the second half. It was the last glimpse St. John’s fans have received of the redshirt sophomore on the floor ever since, as they’ve become used to him cheering on the team while dressed in street clothes at the end of the bench. And now, once again, we wait. But there may not be a need to.

We may have seen the last of Marcus LoVett.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Marcus LoVett to Miss Remainder of the Season