The diagnosis of Jack Nunge was as bad as was feared Sunday night, and the Iowa third-year sophomore forward is out for the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee.
The 6-foot-11 Nunge, who had started each of the Hawkeyes’ five games this season and 26 as a freshman two years ago, suffered the injury late in the first half of Iowa’s home game against Cal Poly Sunday afternoon as he was driving to the basket.
“All of us feel for Jack,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said via a press release. “This is an unfortunate setback for a young man who spent countless hours in the gym and weight room last year preparing for this season.”
Nunge, from Newburgh, Ind., averaged 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists this season. He averaged 5.7 points in 33 games as a freshman. He red-shirted last season because Iowa had a glut of big men at the start of the season and to focus on getting stronger as well as developing as a player. At 245 pounds, he is 20 pounds heavier than when he was a freshman.
He got off to a slow start offensively this season with no field goals in his first two games, but Nunge averaged 12.5 points and 25.5 minutes in his next two contests. He clearly had a prominent and defined role with this season’s team.
Senior Ryan Kriener (7.6 points, 4.6 rebounds per game) now moves into a starting role at power forward. Extra minutes would seem to be headed to junior forward Cordell Pemsl.
Iowa (4-1) resumes play Thursday when it faces No. 12 Texas Tech (5-0) in the Las Vegas Invitational.
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