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Xavier's Zach Freemantle out indefinitely with a foot injury

Freemantle hopes to return for Big East play in mid-December, but no firm time table is set.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Butler vs Xavier
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

First, the news:

As someone had the courtesy to point out to Rothstein, this is information that anyone who pays any attention to the program anticipated coming out. Freemantle had sat out the public preseason events this year and the timetable for his return was always super vague. It didn't take a master's in reading between the lines to figure bad news was on the way. Any injury of a weight-bearing portion of the body is going to be treated with caution; hopefully banking on a return for conference play isn't too optimistic.

There's no way around the fact that losing Freemantle will be a significant blow to Xavier's attempts to land resume wins in the non-conference. He'll be out for OSU's visit to Cintas, the Muskies' trip to Oklahoma State, and whatever top-50 team X draws at the NIT, neatly hamstringing Xavier's efforts to land quad 1 wins before the Big East season kicks off.

If there is a silver lining, it's that Xavier has potential depth in the frontcourt. Jack Nunge was brought in to play alongside Freemantle, but he may end up being the focal point inside early on. Dieonte Miles has looked exceptional in the preseason as a true post with good secondary skills. Jerome Hunter and Ben Stanley each have the skill set to show something different at the four, and Cesare Edwards may get more action early on than initially anticipated.

People have been clamoring for Travis Steele to show his value as the head coach. Losing his leading scorer and rebounder from last season surely gives him the chance to do just that.