Indiana senior guard Verdell Jones will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. He went down awkwardly during the first half of IU's Big Ten Tournament win over Penn State on Thursday, and the extent of the injury was revealed later that evening in an MRI.
"This is heartbreaking news," said IU coach Tom Crean in a statement. "His contribution to our program over the course of his career, and especially this season, is immeasurable. He was playing his best basketball and really had embraced his role on this team as a player and as a leader. We are proud of the career he has had at Indiana University and he, as much as anyone, deserved the opportunity to enjoy everything we have worked so hard for and are experiencing as a team. We appreciate all the prayers that have been said on his behalf."
Jones, who was averaging 7.5 points and 3.2 assists this season, will finish his college career with 1,347 points, putting him 23rd on Indiana's all-time leading scorers list. He started 103 of the 117 game he played in for the Hoosiers, and averaged 11.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists over four seasons.
Indiana did not make the NCAA Tournament in any of Jones' first three seasons, so he would have been making his debut appearance in the Big Dance next week. The loss of his leadership and presence on the defensive end is a gigantic postseason blow for the Hoosiers.
IU will face Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals Friday afternoon.