Duke's Cassius Stanley to Have MRI on Knee Injury; Could Be 'Out a While'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2019

Duke guard Cassius Stanley (2) dribbbles during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Stephen F. Austin in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Duke announced Friday that freshman guard Cassius Stanley would not return to the Blue Devils' 83-70 win over Winthrop after suffering a left knee injury, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

However, after the game, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters he believes it's a hamstring muscle injury while adding that Stanley will undergo a MRI on Saturday. Krzyzewski also said he believes Stanley could be out until after Christmas.

Stanley exited early in the second half when he landed awkwardly and fell to the ground after a layup. The star guard had to be helped off the floor by teammates.

Prior to leaving the game, Stanley was 2-of-7 from the floor for four points with three assists, one rebound and two turnovers.

The 6'6" Los Angeles native has been a big-time producer for the No. 1 Blue Devils this season. Entering Friday's game, he was averaging 14.1 points, 5.3 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Stanley is third on the team in scoring this season behind center Vernon Carey Jr. and guard Tre Jones, and he's second in rebounding behind only Carey.

Additionally, Stanley is averaging the second-most minutes at 28.4 per game, and since he is such an efficient player, replacing his production will be a challenge for head coach Mike Krzyzewski if the freshman is forced to miss additional time.

Much of the burden would fall on the shoulders of Carey and Jones, but the Blue Devils would depend on Matthew Hurt, Wendell Moore Jr., Alex O'Connell and Joey Baker as well.

After Stanley went out Friday, Baker played big minutes off the bench and produced on the offensive end (16 points), which means he may be in for a far bigger role.

Duke's next game is a big one. It is set to face the No. 3 Michigan State Spartans on the road Tuesday, and Stanley's absence would be a huge blow to the Blue Devils' chances of leaving East Lansing's Breslin Center with a victory.

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