In the duration of a week, the nation's top-two teams for 2011 were each dealt significant blows.
First, came the news that North Carolina guard Leslie McDonald tore his ACL in a pro-am game. Now, reports are surfacing that Kentucky guard Jon Hood has suffered a similar fate, tearing his ACL while playing in a pickup game.
The University of Kentucky issued the following statement via Twitter:
UK men’s basketball junior guard Jon Hood suffered a torn right ACL playing in a pick-up basketball game on Monday. Hood's surgery will be scheduled once the inflammation subsides and there is no timetable on his return at this time.
It is unclear as to how long Hood's recovery will take, but, like McDonald, he will almost certainly miss the entirety of the upcoming season.
Hood, a 6'7" wing player from Madisonville, was looking to finally break through and make a significant contribution on this year's squad, after having played only a total of 232 minutes in his first two seasons at Kentucky.
From the outside looking in, the loss of Hood would not appear to be monumental, but it does signify a loss of experience and depth—two areas that were already a cause for substantial concern for this year's team.
Coach John Calipari highlighted this fact on Twitter:
This is a tough blow 4 both Jon & our team. Veteran leadership on a young team is irreplaceable but Jon will use this 2 come back stronger.
Without him, Kentucky is left with just four true wing players on the roster—Darius Miller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb and Stacey Poole.
This likely means that Poole will have to step up and become a consistent contributor for the Wildcats, despite having played only 45 minutes in his first season at Kentucky.
For more news and analysis on all things UK, follow me on Twitter @KYSportsBuzz.