Rashad Vaughn was enjoying a stellar debut season at UNLV and appeared to be sailing toward Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors (and possibly a spot in the NBA draft) before tearing the meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday in the Rebels’ win over Frenso State. So it was no surprise to learn that Vaughn took the news of his injury hard, according to Dave Rice.
“He was devastated,” Rice said on Thursday, one day after Vaughn was diagnosed with the injury that may keep him out for the remainder of the year.
Vaughn was leading the Rebels with a scoring average of 17.8 points per game, and some sites have him projected as a first-round pick in June’s NBA draft. But now Vaughn’s focus will be on rehabbing his ailing knee. Rice said surgery is tentatively scheduled for early next week, with a 4-to-6 week recovery process to follow.
Rice wouldn’t rule out Vaughn playing again this season (the Mountain West tournament starts on March 11), but said the team wouldn’t rush him back.
“Rashad is going to work hard,” Rice said. “He’s going to have surgery soon. I know he wants to be back on the court as soon as he possibly can. As a coach, I’m never going to put him at risk. We’re going to make sure he’s 100-percent healthy before we bring him back. But I know that’s his goal, to be able to come back and play the end of the season. We’ll see how that goes.”
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