Jordan Vandenberg received the obligatory "best shape of his life" nod from Mark Gottfried after he lost a ton of weight in the offseason and seemed poised to finally become a contributor for N.C. State as a fifth-year senior. Then #ncstateshit took a big old poo on his left ankle just minutes into the Pack's exhibition win over UNC-Pembroke.
The grade-three sprain will keep the 7-1 Aussie out of the lineup for four to six weeks, the team announced today. That means the Dandy Vandy's best-case scenario is to miss five games, returning to face Eastern Kentucky in the PNC arena on November 30th. The worst-case scenario--at least with regard to the ankle, as he could always get run over by a UPS truck or abducted by aliens--would have him back in time for the Pack's trip to Tennessee on December 18th. Under this scenario, Vandenberg would miss nine games. Either way, he should be back to full strength in time for conference play.
The Pack raced to an early lead with Vandenberg on the floor partly thanks to the Aussie slamming home a couple of Tyler Lewis's 15 assists, but they were unable to shake pesky Pembroke after his departure and got clobbered on the boards. Hopefully the silver lining to Vandy's absence will be a quicker development for the triumvirate of freshman posts: Kyle Washington, Lennard Freeman, and BeeJay Anya. Those guys need to step up, as the Pack cannot count on many wins against division-one opponents when surrendering 19 offensive rebounds (which was the case against undersized, D-II Pembroke).