Djimde suffers injury; out 4-6 weeks

By Aaron Graff

SIU men’s basketball has only five eligible players listed as forwards and centers. That number decreased with an injury.

Junior center Ibby Djimde played 21 minutes in the season opener Nov. 15 against Saint Louis, but has not played since because of a knee injury. He was listed out for four to six weeks on Nov. 17.

“It’s really difficult right now,” coach Barry Hinson said. “We certainly can’t wait to get him back.”

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Djimde said he does not know what he did to injure his knee. He said he had fluid drained from it and has not practiced since the diagnosis. Djimde is not excited about sitting out of practice.

“I want to help my team,” he said.

The injury does not require surgery. Djimde said he does not think surgery would benefit him.

Hinson said all of the big men on the squad have played more since the injury. He said sophomore forward Sean O’Brien has been the most productive all-around player since the injury. O’Brien averages 14.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

“I don’t think there’s anybody actually been stepping up in the sense that we play guys extended minutes,” Hinson said. “You look at what Sean’s done, and goodness gracious, he’s like a duck in water. He’s feeling pretty good about himself.”

With the injury, sophomore forward Bola Olaniyan’s playing time increased by 6.6 minutes a game. Freshman forward Jordan Caroline’s playing time increased by 8.4 minutes a game. Junior center Deng Leek did not play against Saint Louis; he has played 10 minutes total since.

Despite the injury, Hinson said he does not regret redshirting freshman forward Austin Weiher.

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“Every decision I make is for the well-being of the program, as well as the individual,” Hinson said. “When Ibby comes back, then you’ve wasted four, five, to six non-conference games on a kid for a whole year.”

While the timetable says four to six weeks, Hinson said he has no idea for sure when Djimde will return to the court.

Aaron Graff can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @Aarongraff_DE or 536-3311 ext. 269

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