Vermont leading scorer TJ Long helped off court after injuring right leg late in NCAA loss to Duke

NEW YORK (AP) — Vermont guard TJ Long injured his right leg late in the Catamounts’ first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Duke and had to be helped off the court.

Long, the team’s leading scorer, grabbed a long pass and was in the clear to go up for an easy layup. But when he landed on his right leg, he lost control of the ball and went down to the floor in obvious pain with 1:18 left and Duke in control.

The crowd hushed as Long laid face-down for several minutes and an athletic trainer attended to him before Long eventually rolled onto his back. He was helped off and immediately went to the locker room, putting no weight on his leg.

Vermont coach John Becker said he didn’t really speak to Long after the game, he just kissed him on the head. The junior guard from nearby Long Island left the locker room on crutches.

“He was clearly in pain and clearly upset,” Becker said. “His parents made it down. So I just kind of let them be.”

Long is from Rockville Centre, New York, about 23 miles from where America East champion Vermont played Duke at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Blue Devils won 64-47.

It was a rough night in every way for Long, who managed only three points on 1-of-8 shooting in nearly 36 minutes.

“He’s had five game-winners this year. He’s got the magic. He’s had the magic all year,” Becker said. “The kid is an awesome kid and awesome basketball player, and he gets a lot of attention from the other team.

“They face-guarded him the whole game. They didn’t leave him. And that stuff has been happening for a long time, so it’s hard,” the coach added. “I’ll go down with that kid every day of the week. And we’re not here today without his season, without his heroics.”


AP March Madness bracket: and coverage:

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up