Injuries Prematurely End LeMelle's Season

Auburn, Ala.--Ronny LeMelle's injury-plagued senior season has been put on hold and the guard will try for a "do-over" for the 2005-2006 season.

On a basketball team short on talent, height and experience, first year AU head coach Jeff Lebo was counting on LeMelle to be a key player for the Tigers. "Ronny did a lot of good things for us in practice," Lebo noted. "We were counting on him to be a major part of our team this season."

However, on Friday Lebo noted that it was time to put the six-foot-five senior on the shelf. "Ronny has had three significant leg injuries (two MCL injuries and one broken bone in his foot) in an eight-month period and we have decided not to play Ronny the rest of the season to allow for a full recovery," Lebo said.

With LeMelle only seeing action in four games this season for the 9-5 Tigers, he is expected to be granted a medical hardship redshirt. That would mean he would be a senior for the 2005-2006 season.

Ronny LeMelle

"I think this is what is best for me after having talked it over with my coaches and family," LeMelle said. "I was mad at first when I got hurt again, but my teammates and family gave me the idea about trying to redshirt. We are doing good now, but I think I could help us to be better. It is tough sitting on the sideline and watching."

LeMelle, who is from Harrisburg, Pa., scored 15 points and added four three rebounds and three assists in his most significant action this season as he played 28 minutes vs. Virginia on Dec. 3rd. He has averaged six points and 2.3 rebounds per game this season.

LeMelle missed summer workouts with the foot injury, but was recovered enough in time to join the team for fall preseason workouts. However, he suffered a preseason knee injury that required MCL surgery. He recovered in time from that mishap to play for Lebo's first Auburn team after originally joining the program last season as a transfer from Western Oklahoma State (junior college), where he was an all-conference player.

He started two games for Coach Cliff Ellis as a junior last season and averaged 6.0 points and 2.1 rebounds. He scored a season-high 18 points vs. Montana.


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