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A.J. Lawson Suffers Severe Ankle Sprain

SEC freshman-of-the-year candidate to miss at least two games …

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Despite a rocky start, the University of South Carolina men’s basketball team managed to fight its way onto the 2019 NCAA tournament “bubble” during the month of February.

Unfortunately, after landing on said bubble – seventh-year head coach Frank Martin’s squad dropped back-to-back games against SEC West foes Mississippi State and Alabama.

Which probably “popped” the bubble for the Gamecocks (14-14) this year …

Things went from bad to worse on Thursday when the program announced that its second-leading scorer (and SEC freshman of the year candidate) A.J. Lawson had sustained a “severe low left ankle sprain” during the second half of the loss to Alabama.

The 6-foot-6, 172-pound native of Toronto, Canada – who is averaging 13.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and a team-high 3.0 assists per game – has been ruled out “indefinitely” as a result of the injury. A release from the program indicated he will miss “at least the next two games” pending a Monday reevaluation.

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Given that the Gamecocks have just three regular season games remaining, Lawson will likely miss all of those tilts. Meanwhile, his status for the Southeastern Conference tournament could also be in jeopardy.

Injuries have not been kind to Martin’s team this year. In late November, starting forward Justin Minaya went down with a knee injury that required season-ending surgery. Minaya was averaging 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest at the time of his injury, and was one of the Gamecocks’ top defensive players.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Harrington Park, New Jersey native would take a medical redshirt and enter the 2019-2020 season with three years of eligibility remaining.

Another freshman guard, T.J. Moss, took a medical redshirt after undergoing foot and ankle surgeries back in December.

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