Clemson starting point guard Shelton Mitchell is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a knee injury, coach Brad Brownell said Thursday.
Mitchell injured his meniscus during practice on Tuesday and had surgery earlier this week. His loss is a big one for Clemson, which opens the season Friday against Georgia.
“I feel bad for him because I know how hard he’s been working ,” Brownell said. “He’s been a point guard his whole life and plays the game with great speed. … We don’t have another guy like Shelton.”
The sophomore will be replaced by Avry Holmes. Holmes was expected to start at shooting guard with Mitchell at the point before Mitchell was injured.
“It’s nothing new,” Holmes said of playing point guard. “I did it all last year, and I’ve done it my whole college career.”
Junior Gabe DeVoe or sophomore Marcquise Reed will start at guard alongside Holmes.
Clemson will also be without another member of its backcourt as sophomore Ty Hudson remains suspended.
Brownell is unsure when Hudson’s suspension will end.
“There are some things he needs to do for us to work his way back, and he’s in the process of doing that,” he said.
Clemson will find out a lot about its team early as it faces a Georgia squad that finished last season 24-10 and defeated the Tigers 71-48 in Athens.
Clemson dominated Lander 105-49 in its only exhibition.
“We’ve played well but we haven’t played anybody as big as us, as strong as us, as athletic as us,” All-ACC forward Jaron Blossomgame said. “I think (Friday) will be a good test to see how good the team is going to be.”
MAKING THEM PAY
Blossomgame is expected to be one of the top scorers in the country this season, but if defenses pay too much attention to him he expects his teammates to make them regret it.
Brownell said scoring numbers will not dictate what kind of season Blossomgame has.
“If he comes back and only averages 15, it doesn’t mean that he didn’t improve as a player,” he said. “We have more weapons this year.”
Who: Clemson (0-0) vs. Georgia (0-0)
When: Friday, 7:06 p.m.
Where: Littlejohn Coliseum
Of note: The Tigers return their top three scorers from the previous season for the first time since 1996-97. ... Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson’s leading scorer, was a first-team All-ACC selection last season.