Blossomgame ruled out for Sunday

CLEMSON - Jaron Blossomgame will sit out Sunday morning's second-round NIT game against Illinois with a hairline fracture in his left shin.

It's the same leg that Blossomgame broke during his senior year in high school. But this injury, which he suffered in the second half of Tuesday night's win over Georgia State, is in a different place than the first one.

"It looked a lot worse than it actually was," Blossomgame said. "I thought it was my knee at first, but then I realized I wasn't in any pain in my knee and my ankle, so I was like, ‘Well, it isn't that bad'".

A starter in 30 of Clemson's 33 games this season, Blossomgame is averaging 4.9 points and five rebounds. Brad Brownell said those stats aren't indicative of the impact he makes on the floor.

"It doesn't always do him justice, in terms of us having another front-court athlete on the team," Brownell said. "He can rebound in traffic. He does a good job of allowing us to switch on some perimeter ball screening. He's good enough to be able to guard some perimeter players that way and still do a good job of guarding big, strong, physical post guys as well, so we'll certainly miss Jaron."

Brownell doesn't think the redshirt freshman power forward would be available to play in the later rounds of the NIT.

"It's just wait and see, we don't look at that for a couple of weeks, and there's always a chance, but I would say it's probably doubtful," Brownell said. "Fortunate this didn't happen to us at another point in the season."

Ever the optimist, Blossomgame is taking the injury in stride, just like he did with the one that forced him to sit out his entire first season at Clemson.

"I'm always positive. Everything happens for a reason," he said. "Injuries, they happen in sports. That's the risk you take when you play sports like this," Blossomgame said. "So, I just keep my head up and stay positive."

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