As the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament kicks off this week, it is still uncertain if Florida’s number one rebounder, Kerry Blackshear, will be able to play. Blackshear injured his wrist during Saturday’s home loss against Kentucky.
— Chris Harry (@GatorsChris) March 9, 2020
Florida suffered a loss to Kentucky, 71-70. The forward was fighting for a loose ball when the injury occurred. Blackshear had no points, but five rebounds at the time of the injury with about six minutes left in the half. During halftime, Blackshear had his wrist taped with intentions of finishing the game. However, he pulled himself from the game after about two minutes due to the pain. Thankfully for the athlete, the swelling is on his non-shooting, but the pain prevented any extensive playing.
Without their leading rebounder, the Wildcats were able to put eleven more points than Florida on the board in the second period. Nick Richards led Kentucky in rebounds during the game and stands as a candidate for the SEC Player of the year. Despite not playing most of the second half, Blackshear tied teammate Andrew Nembhard and Richards in total rebounds at the end of the game. Each of the three players had five.
Blackshear transferred to the Gators as a graduate student from Virginia Tech. He averages 12.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game with 1.6 assists.
X-rays showed no break in his left wrist. However, an MRI showed that he has a sprained ligament that is causing the swelling. Blackshear will not be returning to practice this week and whether or not he will be playing Thursday is still in question.
The Gators, with a 19-12 record, are currently seeded fifth in the tournament. They will be playing either number twelve seeded Georgia or thirteen seeded Ole Miss. Both of the potential opponents are 16-15 going into the tournament. The SEC Tournament will be the last set of games played by the Gators before the NCAA Tournament kicks off next week where they are ranked 28th. With Blackshear down, freshman Omar Payne is the primary backup and could take his place if he does not play on Thursday.
‼️ANNOUNCEMENT‼️ The #SECMBB seeds are SET.
Your 2020 #SECTourney Bracket
See you March 11th. pic.twitter.com/qZGt6TSTlK
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) March 8, 2020