Minnesota Men’s Basketball player, Akeem Springs, tore his achilles prior to Friday’s Big Ten tournament quarterfinal loss to Michigan State, according to Minnesota University Athletics. The team’s starting shooting guard announced on his Instagram account that he has ruled out playing another game this season.
According to the Fantasy Doctor’s Dr. Selene Parekh, the achilles tendon injury will require surgery and 9-11 months recovery time. The injury marks the end of Springs’ senior season and career as a Golden Gopher.
Springs averaged 9.5 points in 24 minutes per game for the Golden Gophers in his senior season. He transferred to Minnesota from Milwaukee University prior to the season.He is a leader of the team as the starting lineup’s only senior. He is also leading the team with 67 three-point field goals.
“We are a totally different team with Springs out,” Head Coach Richard Pitino said. “We are going to have to teach players how to play other positions.”
Though Springs will not be able to help his team on the court, Minnesota is still likely to be on its way to another NCAA Tournament appearance next weekend.
Junior forward Reggie Lynch is Minnesota’s first man off the bench and has the most experience working with the remaining members of the team’s starting lineup. At 6’10”, Lynch is taller than any starter. Pitino may choose to slide Lynch into the starting five in order to combat teams with more size in the NCAA Tournament. He has averaged 8.3 points and 6.2 rebounds in 23 minutes per game while shooting 52 percent from the field.
Even though Lynch will likely see the greatest minutes boost in Spring’s absence, Pitino will have to figure out a way to make up for Springs’ team-leading three-point shooting production that was lost with the injury.
Junior guard and leading scorer, Nate Mason, will certainly see a green light from beyond the arc. Sophomore small forward Dupree McBrayer will also likely see an increase in scoring volume with Springs out indefinitely.
Regardless of how Minnesota chooses to replace Springs’ production, his absence will make it more difficult for his team to go on a serious tournament run.