Mays Likely Out 3 Weeks or More

CLEMSON – When the No. 18 Clemson basketball team takes to the court in its next two games, it will have to do so without the services of forward James Mays, who could be out for up to six weeks.

WHAT: Purdue (3-0) at No. 18 Clemson (5-0)
WHERE: Littlejohn Coliseum
WHEN: 9:30 p.m., Tuesday

The senior was injured against Gardner-Webb Saturday when he went up for a dunk and had his legs cut out from under him. He fell to the hardwood floor squarely on his left hip.

Initial MRI results didn't show any fractures, so a bone scan was performed and results of whether Mays has a fractured hip or just a severe bruise will be known either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Mays, who is averaging 14.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, has been definitely ruled out in Tuesday night's ACC-Big Ten game against Purdue, as well as Saturday's home game against South Carolina. It's a big blow considering that two important games are at the forefront.

"Everyone on the team has to step up their play and hitch up their belts and do a little bit more," Tigers head coach Oliver Purnell said. "Obviously James is not someone you can replace."

For Mays, the early part of this season has already been a traumatic one. He's had to endure painful back spasms and then had his eye swell shut due to an infection. If it's not one thing, it's been another.

Even if the results show that Mays doesn't have a fractured hip, he will still likely miss the next three weeks. Either way, the doctors are treating him as if he has a cracked bone. Mays said no matter what the outcome is, he doesn't want to rush his return.

"I don't want to have a nagging injury the rest of the season," said Mays, who has to use crutches to get around. "It's definitely in a lot of pain right now."

In his absence, junior Raymond Sykes is expected to get the start. However, it wasn't known until late Monday afternoon whether or not he'd be able to play after taking an elbow to the face and having four of his bottom teeth bent inward.

Sykes had oral surgery over the weekend and was cleared to practice and play.

Mays may actually be more valuable defensively due to his extreme athleticism and the point in the full-court, trapping defense. Sykes will be the point man now.

The injury also means more playing time for freshman Jerai Grant and sophomore David Potter, who will be used at the forward position whenever Purnell decides to use a small lineup.

Purdue likes to spread things out in a motion offense and get to the basket by using a lot of cuts. Defensively, the Boilermakers employ an aggressive man-to-man system.

"We'll just go opponent-by-opponent in terms of deciding what our plan of attack will be," Purnell said. "We still want to attack inside-out. We still want to get the ball into these guys and have (opponents) react to that."

Purdue (3-0)
G 3 Chris Kramer (6-3, 210) 8.7 ppg, 3.0 apg
G 5 Keaton Grant (6-4, 207) 6.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg
C 25 JaJuan Johnson (6-10, 205) 10.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg
F 4 Robbie Hummel (6-8, 210) 8.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg
F 14 Scott Martin (6-8, 200) 13.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg

No. 18 Clemson (5-0)
G 2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 170) 7.2 ppg, 3.8 apg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 200) 4.0 ppg, 5.0 apg
C 35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 240) 8.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg
F 1 K.C. Rivers (6-5, 215) 15.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg
F 12 Raymond Sykes (6-9, 220) 3.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg Top Stories