Duke will be forced to make a push at this year’s Final Four without one of its most important frontcourt pieces. The school announced on Saturday afternoon — just a few hours before its regular-season finale against North Carolina– that senior Amile Jefferson will not be back on the floor in March — or April, if necessary.
Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski said recently Jefferson had trouble pushing off the right foot, which Jefferson injured at practice in mid-December. Now we know the injury is still affecting Jefferson enough to shut him down for good.
This is the entirety of Duke’s press release on Jefferson: Duke senior forward Amile Jefferson will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season. Team doctors have determined that he will not be able to return due to a right foot fracture sustained in December. Jefferson missed all but nine games this season due to the injury. In those nine games, he averaged 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds. Duke will seek a medical hardship waiver on Jefferson’s behalf in anticipation that he will be eligible for the 2016-17 season.
Jefferson has three options, essentially:
1) Take the medical redshirt and return to Duke next fall and compete for minutes on a stacked team that will be ranked in the top three in the preseason, guaranteed.
2) Take the redshirt but put his services out there for any school that would want him. (Most would.) Jefferson could transfer any program and play immediately.
3) Think about it for a few months and just say goodbye to college and try to make money immediately overseas. Jefferson will turn 23 in May.