MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University’s bid for a national championship took a strange and bad turn Tuesday when it was announced that starting point guard Darryl “Truck” Bryant had broken a bone in his right foot during practice and would miss the rest of the season.
The Mountaineers play Washington in the Sweet 16 in Syracuse on Thursday. Joe Mazzulla will start at the point, and Da’Sean Butler will have to operate there more than he has when Mazzulla goes to the bench.
Bryant had been struggling lately as Mazzulla was coming on strong and getting most of the playing time.
According to a release put out by the school, Bryant suffered a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot during Tuesday’s practice before the team left for Syracuse. The report did not state how the injury occurred.
The report of the injury was released faster than is normal when x-rays have to be taken and read.
“I feel sorry for Truck that this injury happened during this time of the season,” coach Bob Huggins was quoted as saying in the release.
Bryant, a sophomore from New York City, had been playing between 28 and 30 minutes a game until he went into a shooting slump late in the season. He closed the regular season hitting just 10 of final 39 shots and after hitting one of 10 in 28 minutes against Cincinnati as the Mountaineers just squeezed by the Bearcats in their first Big East Conference game, he saw his playing time cut dramatically.
He played just 16, 10, 22 and 16 minutes in the next four games as Mazzulla became more and more of a factor, his injured shoulder seemingly fully recovered.
On Tuesday, Bryant was on the court long before practice was scheduled to begin, shooting jump shots and showing no sign of any injury.
Bryant reached the height of his season in mid-February when he scored 15 points against Villanova, 20 against Pitt in a triple-overtime game and 14 at Providence, raising his season average to a season-high 11.0 points a game.