Back at the end of August things were looking good for Kam Craft. According to his head coach, Sean Miller, “He had successful knee surgery. He should be cleared toward the end of the summer.” He was, but things have a way of turning in college basketball. With only one game played, Craft may already be done for the year without actually stepping on the hard wood.
Sean Miller said in his weekly radio show that Craft had approached him about the possibility of a medical redshirt. Miller added, “Although his surgery was successful and he made a full recovery, Kam didn’t participate with us until the first day of practice this year, so he missed in essence April and May, all three summer months, and for the most part all of September.”
Craft’s problem is that he missed all of that time and is now behind the other players that are trying to work into the rotation. Craft didn’t have a role already carved out on the team, he would have been competing with all of the other new players to find time. He would have been doing this despite not having been playing or practicing with the team all summer. When the entire team is in flux, not being on the court with them is a significant disadvantage.
In order to get a medical redshirt a player cannot have appeared in 30% of a team’s games or have attempted to play in the first half of the season, stopped because of injury, and then attempted to play in the second half. This applies to Craft in that he can’t appear in 10 games and still be eligible for the redshirt. He also couldn’t have played Monday, realized he was off the pace, tried to play against, say, Butler in January, and then shut it down for the year. Those two appearances would mean Craft had used all of his eligibility for the year and could not medical redshirt. The decision on when, or if, to come back is a difficult one.
As things stand now, it looks like Kam Craft is going to be done for the year. That leaves just a single returning player for Xavier. That player, Des Claude, is a good one, but a team in flux has just become even more unsettled.