SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse senior forward Marek Dolezaj doesn’t pack a lot of muscle on his 6-foot-10 frame, but he’s tough as nails.
The only player on the Orange who has repeatedly — and willingly — taken the hardest of charges, Dolezaj added another memorable moment to the Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry on Saturday night when part of one of his front teeth was knocked out in the final minute of the game.
The injury bloodied his mouth and when he started to head to the locker room for treatment, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim stopped him. With the Orange in another close game, the versatile Dolezaj was needed.
“He was going to the locker room and I stopped him,” Boeheim said. “I said, ‘You just hurt you tooth, you didn’t hurt anything else. Let’s go.’ He was trying to go to the locker room, but he didn’t make it.
“He’s too important to us. We need him in there. He toughed it out. In the old days it would have been on purpose, but it was accidental.”
Sophomore point guard Joe Girard said he’s seen teeth get knocked out playing football, but never on a basketball court.
“I knew Marek’s tough. He’s a lot tougher than you might think looking at him,” Girard said. “We were confident that he would come back out (on the floor). I think it was a really good thing that coach didn’t let him go to the locker room because we obviously need him.”
Syracuse won 74-69.
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