CARBONDALE — Marcus Bartley will have to cheer on SIU's men's basketball team from the bench a little longer.
Bartley, a 6-foot-5, 193-pound junior point guard who sat out last season after transferring from Saint Louis University, will miss approximately 6-8 weeks with a broken bone in his right wrist. Saluki coach Barry Hinson made the announcement Wednesday, after an MRI confirmed his fears.
The team X-rayed Bartley's wrist twice, Hinson said, and both were inconclusive, but he continued to experience discomfort on his shooting hand.
"When I tell ya I treat these kids like my own, I'm hurting. I'm hurting for the kid," Hinson said. "I'm upset because he's crushed. But we will recover."
No surgery is required at this time, Hinson said. Bartley was also one of the team's top 3-point shooters this offseason, and will give the Salukis some extra length at the point guard spot when he returns. Bartley could return for SIU's Dec. 2 game against San Jose State if all goes well, but could miss the Salukis' opening nine games if he's out the full eight weeks.
Junior Eric McGill, a 6-2 combo guard from Panola (Texas) College, 6-2 sophomore Aaron Cook and 6-5 junior Sean Lloyd are expected to fill the void at the point until Bartley returns. McGill, who played his freshman year at Southeast Missouri State, averaged 11.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game for the 26-9 Ponies last season. He shot 43.4 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from the 3-point line (64 of 162) with 180 assists and 51 turnovers.
Cook averaged 10.6 minutes per game last season as the backup point guard behind Mike Rodriguez, with 30 assists, 27 turnovers and 31 steals. His 31 steals were the fourth-most on the team.
Lloyd, one of three returning starters from last season's 17-16 squad, started 20 of 32 games and averaged 7.6 points and 2.8 rebounds a game. Lloyd, mainly a shooting guard last season, had 30 assists, 40 turnovers and 33 steals. He was one of SIU's best players at the MVC tournament, with 26 points, seven boards and seven steals in two games in St. Louis.
The Salukis officially open the season at defending Big South Conference champion Winthrop Nov. 10.