Terps lose another forward, Ivan Bender, for the season with injured right knee
By The Baltimore Sun
Dec 31, 2017 at 10:55 AM
Maryland forward Ivan Bender tore the meniscus in his right knee Friday against UMBC and will be out for the season, the team announced Sunday.
A team spokesman said that Bender will have surgery later this week.
“Ivan has been playing some of his best basketball over the past month,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said in a news release. “He has developed into a strong contributor for our team and we are going to miss his leadership and presence on the court. We are confident that he will make a full recovery.”
Bender played in all 15 games this season with a career-high seven starts. He averaged 3.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists a game. Bender had scored four points and had pulled down six rebounds in 18 minutes against UMBC when he had to be helped off the court early in the second half of a 66-45 win. He was holding his right knee.
The 6-foot-9 redshirt junior from Bosnia and Herzegovina came to Maryland after a promising career in Croatia was interrupted by two ACL surgeries on his left knee.
Bender was the likely candidate to replace sophomore forward Justin Jackson at power forward. It was announced Thursday that Jackson had a torn labrum in his right shoulder and would undergo season-ending surgery to repair it.
The loss of Jackson and Bender leaves inexperienced redshirt freshman Joshua Tomaic as Maryland’s only true power forward. Tomaic has played just 66 minutes in nine games after sitting out last season.
After a recent three-game stretch in which he averaged 16 minutes and got career-highs of nine points against Gardner-Webb and eight rebounds against Division III Catholic, the 6-foot-9 220-pound Tomaic was used for just one minute against UMBC.
Senior wing Jared Nickens started in Jackson’s place against UMBC, but struggled until hitting a late 3-pointer. Nickens had come into the game as the second-leading 3-point shooter in the Big Ten at 56.1 percent.
Maryland (12-3) returns to Big Ten play Tuesday against Penn State at home.
Turgeon talked after the UMBC game about the possibility of playing 7-foot-1 senior Michal Cekovsky and 6-foot-10 freshman Bruno Fernando together with sophomores Anthony Cowan Jr. and Kevin Huerter as well as another guard, most likely freshman Darryl Morsell (Mount Saint Joseph).
Given Turgeon’s penchant to gearing his lineup to the opposition, there is also the possibility of the Terps starting four perimeter players with either Cekovsky or Fernando. In either case, Maryland is down to seven scholarship players.