ALBANY – UAlbany men’s basketball confirmed Wednesday that sophomore forward Justin Neely will be out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Neely, the 2021-22 America East Rookie of the Year, suffered the injury early in last Saturday’s 75-62 loss to Siena in the Albany Cup at MVP Arena. The 6-foot-6 forward entered the game off the bench and played just four minutes before being injured with 12:39 left in the first half.
The injury occurred in Neely’s second appearance of the season. He missed both of the Great Danes’ preseason exhibition games and the team’s regular-season opener against Towson while recovering from a shoulder injury, then made his debut by playing 21 minutes off the bench on Nov. 8 at Immaculata, scoring 16 points on 7 of 10 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds.
Before his injury against Siena, Neely missed both of his shot attempts and grabbed one rebound.
Neely came into the 2022-23 season with high expectations, having been named America East Rookie of the Week on six different occasions in 2021-22 en route to being named the league’s top rookie.
The Miami, Florida native appeared in 29 games last season, all off the bench, averaging 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 16 minutes per game while shooting 44.4% from the field and 83.9% from the free throw line.
UAlbany (2-2 overall) won its first game since Neely’s injury Monday, beating Division III Union 87-75. The Great Danes will be back in action tonight at 7 p.m. when they head to Philadelphia to visit a 1-1 Saint Joseph’s team that’s coming off a 63-59 win over Lafayette on Monday.
The two programs last met Jan. 9, 2021 in Philadelphia, with Saint Joseph’s picking up a 67-64 win. Senior forward Trey Hutcheson, who scored four points in 13 minutes that night, is the only player remaining from that game on the current UAlbany roster.