As if a five-game, four-city, eight-game stretch wasn’t challenge enough, the University of Maine men’s basketball team will begin the stretch without one of its best players.
Junior guard Fred Meeks may miss as many as three games after receiving a concussion during practice on Tuesday night.
Maine coach John Giannini said the accident occurred when Meeks was attempting a shot.
“He took an elbow to the head,” Giannini said. “We had a player try to block his shot and got his head.
“He didn’t lose consciousness, but doesn’t recall the actual injury,” Giannini said. “He was awake immediately afterward and throughout the treatment.”
Giannini said the prognosis is a week of rest for Meeks, who is averaging 21.1 points per game.
“It looks like he’ll be out through the middle of next week,” Giannini said.
If Meeks returns on Wednesday, he would miss important conference games against New Hampshire (Saturday), Towson (Sunday) and Vermont (Tuesday).
Until recently, Meeks had been the league’s leading scorer and ranked among the nation’s best.
He suffered an injured left wrist during a game at Hartford on Jan. 13. That injury has limited his effectiveness for the last three games, but he is still the team’s second-leading scorer and ranks No. 3 in America East.
The injury will put pressure on the rest of the paper-thin Black Bears – Meeks, Marcus Wills and Allen Ledbetter account for 76 percent of UMaine’s points.