Quinnipiac announced Friday afternoon that guard Umar Shannon will undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee this coming Wednesday. The graduate transfer from Saint Francis University was averaging 14.3 points and 2.3 assists per game this year for the Bobcats.
The addition of Shannon has been vital to Quinnipiac’s success this season. Shannon earned a redshirt year in 2011 after tearing his ACL in practice following the Red Flash’s season opener against VCU. The injury required surgery on the same knee he will have repaired next week.
After graduating from SFU last year, Shannon received interest from a number of schools, but chose to use his final year of eligibility at Quinnipiac. He is the team’s third leading scorer this year behind Ike Azotam and Zaid Hearst, and has repeatedly come through in the clutch.
Two of Shannon’s biggest moments of the season came on game-winning buzzer-beaters against Hampton and Niagara. He has continually been the go-to guy in end-game situations, but now it will be up to coach Tom Moore to find a way to fill the void.
Most of Shannon’s lost minutes will likely be shared between guards Evan Conti and James Ford. Freshman Kasim Chandler, who has been sidelined with a broken toe for the last eight games, would also be projected to take over some of those minutes upon his return.
Conti was a regular starter last season, but saw his playing time diminish this year, largely due to Shannon transferring in. Since receiving more consistent playing time at the end of January, Conti is averaging 8.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game over 11 contests.
Ford is averaging 4.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game this season, but fills the role of 3-point specialist which Shannon had filled this year. However, Ford missed the recent trip to Buffalo with a mild head injury before going 0-2 from the field in just five minutes against Siena in the team’s last contest. Shannon has made nearly twice as many 3-pointers as any other player on the team, and Ford is a 40% shooter from behind the arc.
Shannon finishes his career with 1,307 points over his time with the Bobcats and Red Flash.
Vincent Simone will be chronicling Quinnipiac’s move to the MAAC and helping cover the conference this season for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow him on Twitter @VTSimone.