INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (AP) — Butler’s turbulent offseason isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
On Friday, the school announced that forward Roosevelt Jones would miss the entire 2013-14 season because of a wrist injury he sustained during a fall in the first game of Butler’s recent four-game Australian tour. He was re-examined after the Bulldogs came back to Indianapolis.
The 6-foot-4 junior was the Bulldogs’ top returning scorer and rebounder and was perhaps best known for making an improbable buzzer-beating shot to upset No. 8 Gonzaga in January.
“Roosevelt suffered an injury that resulted in ligament damage to his left wrist, and he’ll undergo season-ending surgery,” Butler trainer Ryan Galloy said in a statement released by the school. “His prognosis is good and he’s expected to make a full recovery for next season.”
It’s yet another blow for a program that lost head coach Brad Stevens to the Boston Celtics in July, top assistant Mathew Graves to South Alabama in the spring, four seniors including center Andrew Smith and shooting guard Rotnei Clarke to graduation.
The Bulldogs’ play-by-play announcer left for a job at Georgia Tech. And its retired mascot, Blue II, suffers from Cushings Disease and heart disease and may only live a few more months.
Butler also is leaving the Atlantic 10 and joining the Big East — its third conference affiliation in three years.
But Jones was expected to be one of the key cogs in Brandon Miller’s first season as head coach. A year ago, Jones averaged 10.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and had a team-high 3.5 assists as the Bulldogs went 27-9. He was the only Butler player to start all 36 games and has started 67 consecutive games, 31 as a true freshman.
The Bulldogs are likely to redshirt Jones, who would still have two years of eligibility remaining.
“First and foremost, our thoughts are with Roosevelt,” Miller said. “He has worked very hard to position himself to have a terrific junior hear. … Despite not playing, Roosevelt will continue to have an impact in leading this team as we move forward.”
Senior Khyle Marshall, junior Alex Barlow and sophomore Kellen Dunham will try to lead the young Bulldogs. They combined for 81 starts last season.
But replacing Jones won’t be easy.
In addition to his offensive strengths, Jones was selected to the Atlantic 10′s all-defensive team last year and on the Horizon League’s all-newcomer team in 2011.