Bob Holt is a sports reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he sits on the board of directors for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year four times and has been inducted to the Arkansas Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.
'This is a significant loss for our team': Brazile to miss rest of season
Arkansas forward Trevon Brazile (2) is helps off of the court Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, by recruiting coordinator Ronnie Brewer and strength coach Dave Richardson (right) as trainer Matt Townsend leads the way after injuring his leg during the first half of play in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. Visit nwaonline.com/photo for the photo gallery.
FAYETTEVILLE — Less than a week after University of Arkansas forward Trevon Brazile had a career-high 23 points against San Jose State last Saturday, his season is over.
Brazile, a 6-10 sophomore who played the sixth man role for the No. 9 Razorbacks, is out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in Arkansas’ 65-58 victory over North Carolina-Greensboro on Tuesday, the UA announced Wednesday.
Brazile tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee after being examined, according to the release, and will have surgery later this month.
“This is a significant loss for our team,” Razorbacks Coach Eric Musselman said in a text message to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “When we built this roster, TB’s versatility was a big part of it.
“He has emerged as one of the nation’s most unique players. He has an incredible future ahead of him.
“It will be extremely important for our roster moving forward to have one or two players step up to help impact our team’s play.”
Brazile was injured with 7:30 left in the first half against UNCG when his right knee buckled as he drove to the basket and he collapsed on the court.
Brazile was helped off the court by recruiting coordinator Ronnie Brewer and strength and conditioning coach Dave Richardson, and didn’t play the rest of the game. He watched the second half from the bench.
Brazile, a transfer from Missouri, was enjoying a breakout season as one of 11 newcomers for the Razorbacks.
Playing all of the first nine games off the bench, Brazile averaged 11.8 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds in 27.0 minutes. He shot 48.1% from the field (37 of 77), including 11 of 29 three-pointers. He had 11 blocked shots to share the team lead with Makhi Mitchell, and hit 21 of 31 free throws.
Brazile’s start to this season — after he averaged 6.3 points and 5.0 rebounds as a freshman at Missouri — and his freakish athleticism shown in several highlight-worthy dunks, had him moving quickly up NBA Draft boards.
Adam Finkelstein, 247Sports director of scouting, listed Brazile as the No. 18 prospect for the 2023 NBA Draft. NBADraft.net listed Brazile as its No. 24 prospect.
When the Razorbacks played a four-game exhibition tour in Spain and Italy in August, Brazile showed his potential by averaging 15.8 points and 5.0 rebounds.
Brazile had 21 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to open the season in a 76-58 victory over North Dakota State. He also had a double-double against South Dakota State with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
At the Maui Invitational against two ranked opponents, Brazile had 20 points and 9 rebounds against then-No. 17 San Diego State, and 17 and 6 against then-No. 10 Creighton.
Brazile closed last season at the SEC Tournament with strong games against Ole Miss and LSU. He had 9 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots against the Rebels, and 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals against the Tigers.
Those games helped make Brazile — who played at Springfield (Mo.) Kickapoo High School — a hot commodity in the transfer portal. In two games against Arkansas, he combined for 11 points and 16 rebounds.
“I thought that playing against him that he was a guy, if you look into the future, that had tremendous upside,” Musselman said in June. “He’s so long, he can shoot, he can run, he can block shots.”
Brazile’s dunks attracted the most attention, notably when he coiled his right hand back with the ball and slammed it through the basket over South Dakota State freshman Broden Lien to punctuate the Razorbacks’ 71-56 victory.
Video of Brazile’s dunk quickly went viral on social media and was reposted by LeBron James and Magic Johnson.
Razorbacks forward Kamani Johnson was called for a technical foul for taunting after the dunk.
“I did tell the team in the locker room like let’s not give two points right back by getting the technical,” Musselman said. “Like, let’s act like we’ve seen that play.
“Not that we ever have. But let’s act like we have.”
Unfortunately for Brazile and the Razorbacks, he won’t be having any more highlight dunks this season.
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