Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 | 2:30 p.m.
UNLV may have to begin its basketball season with projected starter Bryce Dejean-Jones on the bench.
Dejean-Jones, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard, is expected to be in a cast for the next four to six weeks after suffering a hand injury during the Rebels’ team workout Thursday, UNLV coach Dave Rice announced in a press release. Dejean-Jones sustained fractures in his left hand of his third and fourth metacarpal bones, which are the hand bones that lead to the middle and ring fingers.
“We have all seen how hard Bryce has worked to get ready for the season,” Rice said in a statement. “I know he will work equally hard to be ready to play when he is cleared from this injury. This is adversity for Bryce and for our team and we will all support him as he goes through this.”
Adversity, yes, but so long as the original prognosis of four to six weeks holds true, this shouldn’t be a major setback for Dejean-Jones or the Rebels. The regular season opener against Northern Arizona is on Monday, Nov. 12, or more than five weeks from the day he suffered the injury. It’s possible he won’t miss a game at all.
If he does miss some time, this UNLV team is more capable than any other in recent history of picking up the slack. Savon Goodman, a 6-6 freshman forward, looked very impressive during the team’s trip to Canada and could very easily slide into Dejean-Jones’ role for a couple of games.
Dejean-Jones sat on the bench during every home game last season after transferring to UNLV from USC. He longed to be on the court for real after practicing with the team every day. This may set back that official start date for him, but with proper rehab this is just a small bump in a long road for the Rebels.