Penn State sophomore guard Josh Reaves suffered a “left lower-leg injury”, the program said in a press release today. It’s undetermined how exactly he sustained the injury, whether in practice or in the Nittany Lions most recent exhibition game against Lock Haven.
According to the team, Reaves will miss the first three games of the season, winnable home contests against Albany, Duquesne, and Grand Canyon.
The news is a blow to Penn State’s opening season continuity. Reaves is set to help anchor a three-guard backcourt, along with sophomore Shep Garner and freshman Tony Carr. He’s third on the team in minutes from returning players and is one of the linchpins of the new up tempo offense that Coach Pat Chambers wants to run.
Last season, as a freshman, Reaves showed inconsistent promise. He played over 20 minutes a clip at the drop of the season and improved down the stretch, averaging almost 10 points a game over the last four and shooting 44% from the field.
Penn State’s first big contest of the season comes November 19th against #1 Duke, a game not one single person expects them to win. It should be Reaves first game with the team and they’ll need all hands on deck if they expect to compete against the deepest squad of Blue Devils in quite some time.
Hopefully the severity of the injury remains negligible. In his sophomore year, Josh Reaves needs to improve his shooting and his overall offensive rating to stay on the floor. He shot 37.5% last year with a rating of 91.9.
In his absence, junior forward Payton Banks could slide into the starting lineup. Or Chambers could opt for UCONN transfer Terrence Samuel in his slot.
The delightful thing about Penn State this year and hopefully moving forward is that the team has options. If Reaves is out for longer that would be bad, but it’s not the end of the world. Chambers is trying to build a winning legacy and he’s got a number of pieces, including Josh Reaves, that could the Nittany Lions get there.