Star Northwestern State point guard Jalan West will miss the season with a torn ACL, the school announced on Tuesday.
West was injured in the final minute of the Demons’ opening game against Mississippi after pouring in 25 points. He’ll have surgery in two-to-three weeks, according to Northwestern State’s trainer.
Last year, West was one of the best players in America, scoring 20 points and dishing out 7.7 assists per game in coach Mike McConathy’s uptempo system. The senior is an explosive little jitterbug who can not only get into the lane at will on the mid-major level, but he can also knock down shots at a 40-percent clip from behind the arc. He was the No. 69 player on our preseason Top-100 (and one) players in college hoops list.
His recovery time is estimated at about six months, which means West will have a tough decision to make now. He could attempt to get a medical hardship waiver and return to Northwestern State next season, or he can choose to begin his professional career. He’ll be an interesting prospect for the NBA, D-League and international teams if he chooses to come out, but his stock would be more tied to how he works out than other prospects. There will obviously be questions about the system he plays in and about the competition level he plays at, so teams will need to get a look up close at how he can play.
It’ll be interesting to track this situation as it progresses, but overall West’s inury just makes college hoops less fun, and that’s something that nobody wants.