Syracuse's Arinze Onuaku Won't Play In Thursday's Sweet 16 Game Vs. Butler

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Syracuse Blog: Orange Just Kidding When They Said AO Was A-OK

On Friday, Cuse Nation breathed a sigh of relief when the team doctor announced Arinze Onuaku would more than likely be back at practice on Monday and is return to action when the NCAA Tournament started was a foregone conclusion. Turns out that was either a gross overestimation or a flat-out lie cause Onuaku won’t practice all week and isn’t expected to play against Vermont on Friday. Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician wonders how the Orange will compensate for the loss of their 4th-leading scorer.

Boeheim went on record saying that DaShonte Riley can expect to see some serious playing time if Onuaku can’t go. Rick Jackson would take over center duties while Kris Joseph would start as a forward. The Orange might also shift Andy Rautins down to small forward if needed.

Lots to discuss and fret over on this one. The first thing that comes to mind…what if RickJack gets into foul trouble early? I can’t think of a worse time to have the DaShonte Riley coming-out party. Then again, maybe the big man will surprise us all and step it up. That’s what we can hope for I suppose.

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Arinze Onuaku Unlikely To Play For Syracuse Against Vermont

While Syracuse earned the No. 1 seed in the East region Sunday night, not all the news concerning the Orange was good news. According to head coach Jim Boeheim, Arinze Onuaku will not practice until later this week, and it is unlikely that the injured center will play against Vermont in Syracuse's first round game on Friday.

Another report says that Onuaku is "unlikely to play in Syracuse's first two games of the NCAA Tournament."

Onuaku is dealing with an injury to his right quad suffered in a loss to Georgetown on Thursday in the Big East Tournament. He has not officially been ruled out of either game as of yet.

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