Denzel Valentine, Michigan State’s top all-around player, and quite possibly the nation’s top all-around player, will be out for 2-3 weeks due to a knee injury, reports Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press.
Tom Izzo here with bad news for MSU basketball — Denzel Valentine suffered a knee injury, out 2-3 weeks, had arthroscopic surgery this AM.
— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) December 21, 2015
Prior to injury, Valentine, a 6’5,” 220-pound senior, had posted two triple-doubles en route to averaging 18.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. He also averaged 30.6 minutes per outing for the 12-0 and No. 1-ranked Spartans, who on Tuesday play red-hot guard Kahlil Felder and the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
A win Tuesday night would tie Michigan State’s best start of 13-0, set by the 2000-01 Final Four team.
Valentine scored 17 points during Michigan State’s 78-58 road win Saturday over Northeastern. He also had five rebounds and six assists. A week earlier, he scored 17 during the Spartans’ 58-52 win over Florida at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.
The former Lansing Sexton star has been widely discussed as a prime candidate for national player of the year honors. His injury comes at a critical time for the Spartans, too–they’re in the midst of a four-game road swing that should say a lot before they dive into the thick of the Big Ten season.
Not having their leader will certainly present challenges for the Spartans, who are looking to make a run at a national championship come March and April.