Siena men’s basketball: Jackson expected to remain sidelined

Despite a 4-7 record, the Siena Saints are getting better.

Despite a 4-7 record, the Siena Saints are getting better.

Senior Clarence Jackson’s right ankle isn’t, though.

Siena’s second-leading scorer missed his second straight game because of an ankle injury on Tuesday, and it doesn’t look promising that he’ll be ready in time for the Saints’ next game, Friday against Saint Joseph’s at the Palestra in Philadelphia.

He was in street clothes for Siena’s 82-79 loss at St. Bonaventure, and said after the game that he doesn’t have any idea when he might be able to play again.

Jackson, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Marlton, N.J., 15 miles east of Philadelphia, got hurt at the end of practice on Dec. 20, when Kyle Downey landed on his leg.

He’s averaging 16.9 points per game.

“I don’t know. The ligaments are really bothering me right now, right above the ankle, and the leg is really

strained in the back,” Jackson said. “We’ll see. Hopefully, over time, maybe that can go down, but as of right now, I’m still feeling the same as I did for the Georgia Tech game.”

Coincidentally, Downey has just started rounding into form after missing the first six games with a preseason knee injury, and he has started the last two games in place of Jackson, scoring a career-high 21 points in the St. Bonaventure loss.

Jackson was in uniform and warmed up for the 62-57 victory over Georgia Tech at the Times Union Center on Dec. 22, two days after he got hurt, but he told head coach Mitch Buonaguro that it was still bothering him and he shouldn’t play.

“Maybe they can give me an MRI in Philly or somewhere and see what’s going on, but I’m trying to be cautious with it and at the same time be smart,” he said. “I tried to give it a go today [Tuesday], but it was still irritating, really bothering me. I’m hobbling, basically, on one leg. Being a shooter, coming off staggers and cutting, I can’t do that stuff. I don’t want to jeopardize my team and jeopardize myself.”

Besides the fact that Jackson had been looking forward to the Saint Joseph’s game because it’s so close to his hometown, he has also been a terror against the Hawks the last two seasons.

Last season, he scored 23 points in 25 minutes in a 92-75 Siena victory at the Times Union Center, and as a sophomore, he went 12-for-20 and scored 28 points in 27 minutes at the Palestra as the Saints pulled out a 75-74 win on two Ryan Rossiter free throws with two seconds left.

“It’s at home, all my family and friends will be there,” Jackson said. “They’ll still come out and support me whether I play or not, but that’s tough, possibly my third game out, and this isn’t how I want to go about this.

“On the upswing, everybody’s playing well, our guards are playing well, everybody’s gaining confidence, and that’s what we need. We’ll give it time and see where it goes.”

One of those guards playing better is freshman point guard Rakeem Brookins, who had his best game of the season despite succumbing to leg cramps with 11:16 left in the second half.

He finished with a tremendous stat line: 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including 4-for-6 from three-point range, seven assists, no turnovers and three rebounds in 23 minutes.

But he wasn’t available when the Saints really needed him.

Brookins tried to make a go of it with 8:01 left, then came out for good 2:19 later. He had cramps in his calves the first time he had to leave the game, then cramped up in his thigh and groin when he returned.

“I was so dehydrated that when I came back, it was still there,” he said. “I was trying to fight through it, but I couldn’t, it was hurting so bad.

“I’ve got to get more potassium, eat bananas before the game, and I’ll be fine, and hopefully, it won’t happen again. I’ve got a lot of history with it, through high school. I have potassium pills, and I use them, electrolytes, I use them all, and still it doesn’t seem to help.”

It was the second straight game in which a Siena starter missed the end of the game because of leg cramps. Power forward OD Anosike came out with 7:10 left against Georgia Tech, and soph­omore Davis Martens played well in his place.

Categories: College Sports

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