Lorenzo Romar said sophomore Jernard Jarreau is “trying to be brave with it,” but he knows the 6-foot-10 forward is hurting inside after tearing the ACL in his right knee, an injury that will end his season before it really began.
Jarreau will have surgery “pretty shortly,” Romar said. Shawn Kemp Jr. will replace him in the starting lineup.
Romar also said senior forward Perris Blackwell, who missed Sunday’s opener against Seattle with a concussion, will practice Wednesday and will play on Thursday.
Other notes from Romar’s media availability today …
(First impression of Jarreau’s injury) “It didn’t look good. Initially I thought maybe … It was called a flagrant foul because of the way the rule is worded, but it wasn’t an intentional bad play that was made. He was bumped slightly, just enough for him to come down and step wrong. The fall was because his ACL basically popped at that point, and there was no power left for him to go up so it’s like he slipped on some ice. That’s kind of what it looked like. There was no shove in the back to make him fall. In fact, if his ACL had not have torn, I don’t believe it would have torn. So it didn’t look good at the time. Now we know the results. Jernard has put his time in the last couple years when he redshirted a year, in the weight room, to where he was developing. I thought he was beginning to see the fruit of his labor. It’s unfortunate that it happened but I think now with a year off it gives him time to really, really concentrate in that weight room. He’ll be able to get back on the floor and continue to work on his shooting and other things. Our hope is that he comes back not only as good as new, but even better.”
(Worried about him missing into next season?) “I don’t think that’s a problem at all. Abdul Gaddy was injured in January when he tore his ACL and he was back practicing in October. So this is a couple of months before then, so I don’t see any reason why Jernard won’t come back and be ready not only for the beginning of the season but the beginning of practice.”
(How is he taking it?) “He’s trying to be brave with it. He’s trying to show a good attitude. You know it hurts inside, but he’s hanging in there.”
(Will he be in touch with others who had the same injury?) “You just look through our athletic teams. You look at Katie Collier, who this happened to. You look at Abdul Gaddy, who he’s already spoken with. Deontae Cooper, this happened to him three times. There are a number of people Jernard will be in touch with, I’m sure, to talk about the process, what you go through mentally, the rehabilitation process with it. All of that.”
(Timetable?) “They usually say 8-10 months when you come back and you’re 100 percent in terms of your strength. They say it takes a little while longer to recover mentally where you have the total confidence and your sharpness is back. It always depends on the individual, how hard they’re going to work to get back. And I don’t see any reason why Jernard is not going to work really hard to get back. We are really, really not concerned about his ability to come back, not only at full strength but in a timely fashion. We have a lot of confidence in our medical people here at the University of Washington. Our doctors and trainers do a phenomenal job. So they’ll just point him in the right direction and lead him in his comeback and I think he’ll respond the right way.”
(Contingency plan in the frontcourt?) “Well, it’s good that Desmond Simmons is not out for the year. Desmond will be back this year. In the meantime we have Perris (Blackwell), we have Shawn Kemp Jr., we have Gilles Dierickx. I think Mike Anderson showed that if we go small, he’s tough enough, savvy enough and smart enough to where he can fill in if we go small, in that regard, also. So we’ll find a way.”
(Seems like UC-Irvine has big size advantage?) “But they don’t play all those guys together at the same time, and I would imagine there aren’t many teams in the country they’ll play against that won’t be at a size disadvantage when you’re talking about guys that are 7-foot plus. So I think every game they play they’re going to deal with being in that position. But we’re confident in the people that we have on our team.
“It becomes an issue sometimes when you’re trying to get to the rim. Obviously they protect the basket pretty well with that type of size.
(Can you use 4-guard lineup?) “We had planned when we talked in August that we had that ready in our arsenal, that if we were ever in a position – we knew we had strong guards going into the season – if we were ever in a position where the game would present itself to where we would have to go small, we were going to practice being able to play that way. We weren’t able to do it a whole lot before this game. Just a little bit. But our guys came through. We can do that at some point.”
(Blackwell good to go?) “Perris is good to go. He’ll be practicing today. Again with those two guys, Donaven (Dorsey), Tristan (Etienne) and Robert Upshaw redshirting, those are three guys that next year … that class, and the class prior with Jahmel Taylor, Darin Johnson Mike Anderson and Nigel Williams-Goss, we like those back-to-back classes put together. We think that’s going to help us in the future.”