By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – The bad news suspected for Ole Miss on Tuesday night was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.
Sophomore forward Aaron Jones sustained a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament (ACL), Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said, and senior guard Nick Williams aggravated a foot injury that has kept him in a walking boot of late.
Jones’ season is done. Williams is out indefinitely.
The 16th-ranked Rebels are 17-3 overall, 6-1 SEC.
The absence of Jones and Williams – two of the first players off the bench – is a big blow to the Rebels’ depth as they travel to face No. 4 Florida on Saturday night.
Williams is the team’s fourth-leading scorer, averaging 9.4 points and 24.5 minutes a game. He’s second in assists with 34.
Jones has been the team’s key frontcourt reserve, especially in the absence of injured junior Demarco Cox (foot), who filled that role last year.
Cox has been cleared to begin conditioning and could get in the mix to help.
Jones is averaging 3.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 16.9 minutes.
Who steps up?
For now, freshmen Terry Brutus and Anthony Perez are expected to get the minutes Williams and Jones were getting if starters Murphy Holloway and Reggie Buckner encounter foul trouble as they did in the 87-74 loss to Kentucky.
“We started the season with Jason Carter, Demarco Cox, AJ and then Murph and Reg up front,” Kennedy said. “Now suddenly we’re down to those two. Terry Brutus is going to have to step up. Anthony Perez is going to have to play some at the 4. The minutes are there. Somebody’s got to take them, We’ll give those young guys an opportunity.”