UPDATE: Zach Freemantle is out a month with a foot injury
Breaking: Xavier's Zach Freemantle will miss at least a month with a left foot injury, Sean Miller told @CBSSports. It's the same foot he had surgery on in 2021. Freemantle's among the most efficient bigs in the country: 15.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 58.5 FG%.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) January 31, 2023
If you log into message boards or have heard about Twitter or just know how to access the internet at all and have more than a passing interest in Xavier basketball or the Big East in general, you’ve probably heard the rumors by now. Zach Freemantle is in a walking boot! He’s got a stress fracture in his foot! He’s going to be out for 2 weeks/the season/the rest of his life! Amputation is imminent!
There is no official word from the program as of this writing. What we do know is that, if Freemantle is out, Xavier isn’t overloaded with depth options to replace him. He’s leading the team in rebounding and averaging 15/8/3 per game. He’s shooting over 60% from deep and 58.5% from the floor overall. As the season has worn on, he has continued to be one of the most consistent contributors to Xavier’s success.
If he’s out, it’s a next man up situation for Xavier. The next man in this case is the resurgent Jerome Hunter, who is averaging 9 and 4 in about 18 minutes per game in conference play. How much of Freemantle’s production he can replace will be limited by his issues with foul trouble; he’s averaging 4.8 fouls per 40 minutes in league play, which isn’t great.
Behind him are deep reserves Dieonte Miles and Cesare Edwards. Edwards has scored 10 points and grabbed 3 boards in 13 minutes of Big East run this year; Miles hasn’t played since the Southern game on December 13. The other option is to go small, which would require more production from guards Kyky Tandy and Kam Craft, neither of whom has been an established member of Sean Miller’s circle of trust so far.
As soon as we hear something official, we’ll update accordingly.