Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said Tuesday that power forward Shawn Kemp Jr. tore his patellar tendon and will be out six to eight weeks. Romar hopes to get Kemp back by the start of Pac-12 Conference play Jan. 5 against Washington State.
Kemp was an option to start at power forward after playing just 6.5 minutes per game last season. Romar said he felt Kemp was emerging as a player they could just throw the ball into and score in the post.
After having soreness in his knee throughout the summer, Kemp was hurt at the start of practice Oct. 30 when he jumped for a rebound in a drill just after warmups, then landed and heard a pop in his knee. Kemp stopped practicing and had an MRI that showed a slight tear.
“My knee in the summer was hurting a lot,” Kemp said. “Last Monday, was when I felt it get worse. So, I stopped practice got an MRI, came to find out I tore my patellar tendon.”
His loss is a blow to an already thin Washington frontcourt that is expected to have difficulty rebounding.
“It doesn’t impact the rotation, but it impacts the guy who was turning the corner as an offensive weapon,” Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said. “He had probably become our best low-post threat, in terms of bigs. It takes away from what we were doing early because he was playing really well.”
Kemp averaged 1.6 points and 0.8 rebounds in just more than six minutes per game last season.
“Last year I didn’t really play that much,” Kemp said. “This year I felt like I probably had a good chance of breaking out.”