CARBONDALE — Marcus Domask did everything he could to try to come back from a left foot injury, but will miss the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, SIU men's basketball coach Bryan Mullins said Monday.
Domask, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward who is the Salukis' leading scorer and second-leading rebounder this season, was evaluated weekly after going out in late January. He was not able to get through a full team practice over the weekend, Mullins said, and will start working toward trying to get back for summer workouts.
"With a foot injury, and you get into bones and stuff, when you don't have surgery, there's not an exact timetable, and everyone feels differently," Mullins said. "And Marcus has done everything he can to get back this season, over and above, so, like I said, with him not being able to do a team practice, it's in his best interests, long-term, and it's best for him to get 100% healthy for next year."
Domask averaged 16.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season in 11 games. The 2020 MVC Freshman and Newcomer of the Year, he shot 48.4% from the field, 30.4% from the 3-point line (14 of 46) and 82.9% at the free-throw line. SIU (11-13, 5-13 MVC) went 4-10 without him and finished ninth in the league.
The Salukis open the tournament at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis against eighth-place Bradley (12-15, 6-12) Thursday night at 5:08 p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com. The Braves are also expected to be heavily shorthanded when they try to beat SIU for the second time this season. Without Domask, SIU split with Bradley in Peoria Feb. 6-7, losing 74-66 in the first game of a two-game series and rallying to win 69-68 in the second game.
Senior forward Elijah Childs, the Braves' leading scorer and rebounder, starting guard Terry Nolan Jr., the team's second-leading scorer and steals leader, and guard Danya Kingsby were suspended indefinitely in mid-February for violating team rules and haven't played since. Guard/forward Ja'Shon Henry, the team's third-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder, hurt his right foot in Saturday's win over Drake and was scheduled for an X-ray Monday, Bradley coach Brian Wardle said.
• Loyola moves up to No. 20/22: Two days after capturing the MVC regular-season championship, Loyola moved up to No. 20 in The Associated Press top 25 poll and 22nd in the Ferris Mowers coaches poll. The Ramblers (21-4, 16-2) won 14 of their last 15 games after sweeping SIU in Chicago in their final two-game series of the regular season.
Drake (24-3, 15-3), the No. 2 seed behind Loyola at next week's MVC Tournament, received votes in both polls. Loyola awaits the winner of Thursday's game between SIU and Bradley in Friday's 11 a.m. quarterfinal. Drake will play the winner of the other Thursday opening-round game between Illinois State and Northern Iowa on Friday at 5:08 p.m.
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