But although the team misses its junior guard, a sophomore forward has stepped to the plate and established a name of his own.
Jordan Bruner fits the prototype for today's college power forward. The 6-7 talent possess easy athleticism and length, and he moves gracefully throughout the court. At the Chick-Fil-A Classic, he proved to be one of the weekend's surprises and a potential high-major talent in the Class of 2016.
He began the event slowly but picked up steam as it progressed. In Saturday's contest versus High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan, Bruner tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in a narrow defeat. And today, matched against elite center Thon Maker and Martinsville (Va.) Carlisle, he compiled 18 points and 12 boards, though shot only 7-19 from the floor.
Bruner's stats might suggest he's a natural post player, but ultimately he's likely to become a hybrid who plays inside and out. He has the lithe body type and speed to create mismatches on the perimeter, yet also the size and timing for blocks to compete in the paint as well.
At this point he's definitely better inside offensively, as evidenced by his 2-9 three-point shooting over three games at Chick-Fil-A. He might develop into a shooter, but for now he consistently performs better closer to the bucket. Still, his body type suggests that at the minimum he could evolve into a part-time slasher and versatile defender.
He also has been effective on the regional travel circuit, and we'll look forward to watching him this spring and summer to track his progress.