Villanova will be without starting guard Justin Moore for the remainder of its NCAA Tournament run, the school confirmed Sunday in an expected but nevertheless disappointing announcement.
Moore went to the floor with a right leg injury late in the Wildcats’ Elite Eight win against Houston on Saturday night in San Antonio. He was on crutches following the game during the team’s muted celebration. The school announced that an MRI confirmed what observers feared, that the injury was indeed a torn Achilles tendon that will require surgery, leaving the Wildcats without a key contributor as they prepare to take on Kansas next Saturday at the Final Four in New Orleans.
“This is a tough blow for all of us, not just because of the great player Justin is, but because of what he means to us as teammates and coaches,” said coach Jay Wright in a statement. “As one of our captains, Justin has been an integral part of our success. He helps our team in so many ways. Every game, he guards the opponent’s best scorer and is one of the toughest rebounding guards we have had in our time at Villanova. ”
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In addition to being considered the Wildcats’ best individual defender, Moore is also second on the team in points (14.8) and assists (2.3). His absence will be a major blow for a team already lacking depth. Caleb Daniels, the lone bench player averaging double-digit minutes, will now be thrust into the starting lineup. The only other Wildcats player to see any action at all in the regional final victory was Chris Arcidiacono, who came in for just two minutes in the first half.