Vanderbilt star Aaron Nesmith’s season is likely over.
Nesmith, a potential lottery pick in the 2020 draft, is expected to miss the rest of the season while dealing with a lingering foot injury, Commodores coach Jerry Stackhouse said on Saturday after their 69-50 loss to Texas A&M.
This marks the second-straight season Vanderbilt has been plagued by injuries, following Darius Garland’s knee injury last season. Garland was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 draft.
“[Nesmith’s] season is probably over for us,” Stackhouse said, via the Tennessean. “We don’t anticipate him being a part of what we’re doing this season.”
While Stackhouse didn’t specify what type of foot injury Nesmith suffered, the Vanderbilt Hustler — the school’s student newspaper — reported that it was a stress fracture.
Nesmith suffered the injury several weeks ago and initially played through the pain, however he re-aggravated it in their loss to Auburn on Wednesday. He finished the night with 18 points and seven rebounds.
"They were just looking for precautionary [tests] because he was having some pains and discomfort. They took an X-ray a few weeks ago or a couple of weeks ago when he did something with this ankle," Stackhouse said, via the Tennessean. "I think they saw a little something there, but it wasn't a major concern.
"But now let's just be sure. And then going in to be sure, they found out [the injury] was more than what it needed to be. So now it's just a decision for his family of which direction they go."
Nesmith has averaged 23 points and 4.9 rebounds so far this season for the Commodores, and has made more than 52 percent of his 3-pointers so far this season while averaging a nation-best 4.3 made 3-pointers per game.
The 6-foot-6 forward was widely expected to be a first round pick in the NBA draft in June, and was listed as a top-20 pick by both USA Today and CBS Sports. While Stackhouse said Nesmith was devastated by the news, he doesn’t expect his draft stock to change any should he decide to declare for the draft.
“I feel so bad for the kid,” Stackhouse said, via the Tennessean. “[Nesmith] was emotional. He was in tears … I think his draft stock is right there in a good spot. It’s not a ligament injury or anything like that. It’s something that will be corrected, and he’ll get back to 100 percent.”
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