Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Written by: Dylan Ballard
News broke early Wednesday morning per KSR and Ryan Lemond, that 6’9 Kentucky Forward Nate Sestina had broken his wrist. It originally was reported that he would be out for months. Shortly after, Coach Cal released a video saying that it would 3-4 weeks. Cal said “he went up for a rebound and came down on his wrist”, later mentioning it would require surgery. He also urged the fans to stay with the Cats and how they would need the fans more than ever. The link to the video is below. Alright, let’s break this down. First of all, you have to hate this for Nate and his family. I know he will be back and it will be hopefully sooner than later. This is a kid who has one season and one season only to play on this level. As he is a grad transfer from Bucknell. This is also a kid who is enjoying every second of this experience, as he is taking a huge leadership role. So hopefully for his sake and future endeavors, he comes back fully healthy and balls out! The rough thing about this, is that we just can’t seem to kick the injury bug. This is something we have never dealt with during the Cal era. We have had some injuries like Jarred Vanderbilt, Willie, and Nerlans Noel but we have never had a team that’s been plagued by injuries like this, considering the Cats have had 7 out of 10 scholarships players deal with an injury at some point just this season. (We haven’t even seen Donte Allen yet). Aside from all that, we have to move on with the season and hopefully the Cats can recover FULLY by March because that’s all that matters! Lastly, let’s list some things that have to happen while Nate is out if the cats want to succeed.
-Keon Brooks has to step up! I know Keon is playing out position by having to play to post, and we weren’t planning on playing him this much this early on in his career. Sometimes that’s just the way the dominos fall, Brooks has done well when called upon so far! So hopefully he keeps it up.
-Whitney has to pick up the and play the post more. Whitney is someone who has struggled a ton this season considering he was our highest ranked player coming in. So with Sestina out, it’s time for him to step up. We have no depth down low and he going to have to play the 4 sometimes and we need him to be physical and play well.
-The three guards set will be used a lot and has to be successful. As guys like Brooks and Whitney will have to play a lot in the post. Also, Sestina shoots quite a bit and that will have to be made up by the guards. So expect a lot of Maxey, Quickley, and Hagans at the same time.
-Richards and Montgomery have to play exceptionally well from here on out. They are the only two big men on the roster.
-Lastly, Sestina is often thought of as the leader of this team. So hopefully he keeps the energy up on the sidelines and in the locker room! We all know this injury will hurt just like the others have but I think he will come back great. The goal would be to be back for the Louisville game which is December 28th, but the Cats will be good either way.