A brutal blow to one of the SEC’s top freshmen is unfortunately one of the stories of the day. Vanderbilt Commodores guard Darius Garland will miss the rest of the 2018-19 basketball season. Garland, a five-star recruit and probable lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, underwent knee surgery recently and the recovery time was learned on Tuesday. Interestingly enough, it was initially reported as a 6-8 week process, but we would soon learn that he would miss the entire season.
The Tennesseean reported on the injury first, and then Jeff Goodman informed the world of Garland’s status later on.
Vanderbilt freshman point guard Darius Garland is expected to be out for the season with a knee injury, Bryce Drew told @WatchStadium.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) November 27, 2018
This is obviously crushing news for both parties. Garland was part of a top-tier recruiting class coming into Vanderbilt that Bryce Drew had constructed. He, along with Simi Shittu and Aaron Nesmith were expected to help guide the Commodores this season. But now, obviously, that will no longer be the case. You can likely expect more from Saben Lee now that Garland is out, and probably more of Nesmith and Maxwell Evans at guard.
It is obviously very impactful for Garland himself, as well. He only was able to collect five games under his belt at the college level. Now, he’ll be forced to watch from the sidelines and recover as the NBA Draft approaches. It is probable that he may never play at the college level again, and that is likely the best move for him from his own personal standpoint.
Darius Garland was the team leader in points per game, averaging 16.2 through the first five games of the season. He also averaged 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. The latter of which was second-best on the team behind the aforementioned Lee.