The injury bug continues to bite Northwestern State.
After a reoccurring left knee injury that erased two consecutive seasons for Jalan West, fellow senior and Demons’ star Zeek Woodley has fell victim as well.
Announced by the school this evening, Woodley will undergo surgery for a broken wrist on Friday and will miss up to six-to-eight weeks. The injury was suffered in the first half of Northwestern State’s 100-93 loss to Rice on Monday night.
“He missed a free throw, so we knew something was wrong,” said head coach Mike McConathy in a press release. “It’s not exactly the Christmas present that he or I or our team was looking for. But, we’ll get through this and hopefully, he’ll be back with us very soon.”
Woodley, the 2013-14 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-Southland Conference selection last season, has started 95 of 101 games in his collegiate career. The Louisiana native has 1,940 points to his name, just 66 shy of Demons’ all-time leading scorer Billy Reynolds.
The 6’2″ guard was leading Northwestern State in scoring; He was averaging 17.6 points per game.
“Hopefully it will heal quickly. I’ve just got to stay positive. I have faith in the team,” Woodley said. “My best friends, Sabri [Thompson] and Tra’von [Joseph], are the seniors who have to lead them until I get back. We can be a good team.”
Although Woodley’s scoring average is significantly lower than past seasons (22.2 PPG as a junior and sophomore), the “star senior” continues to shoot efficiently. As in the past, he is shooting over 50 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Without their only double-figures scorer, sophomore Ishmael Lane, junior Devonte Hall, and senior Sabri Thompson will be asked to assume more of a scoring role. The aforementioned trio has combined for only 26.6 points per game thus far.
“It’s a great opportunity for Ishmael Lane to become more of an offensive threat,” McConathy said. “There will be more shots available, and we’ll work extremely hard continuing to expand his impact.
“Because of the system we use, a lot of guys get into the games and so the adjustment isn’t having to go from zero to 60, but rather just expanding their roles.”
5-5 Northwestern State will suit up without their star December 28 versus Louisiana College. Before falling to Rice, the Demons were on a three-game winning streak with victories over UTEP and UL Monroe.
– P. Wesner