The College of Charleston will be without senior forward Jeremy Simmons today when the Cougars take on Furman in a battle for first place in the Southern Conference's South Division.
Cougars coach Bobby Cremins confirmed Friday that Simmons is out indefinitely after a blood clot was discovered in the area of his right arm and shoulder.
Simmons, who is averaging 13.3 points and 6.2 rebounds, played 30 minutes in Thursday's 79-54 win over Wofford despite bruised ribs he suffered in Charleston's previous game at Davidson. He scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds against the Terriers in what Cremins called a courageous effort.
After the game, Cremins said swelling was discovered in Simmons' arm and he was taken to the emergency room, but it wasn't until a subsequent doctor's visit Friday that the blood clot was revealed.
"This morning they double-checked and they saw it pretty clearly," Cremins said Friday. "He has to have two procedures, and they can't do the second one until after a couple of weeks. After that, it's all up to the doctors.
"It's a tough break for Jeremy, but thank God he's all right. It's not too uncommon with very athletic people."
Simmons, last year's Southern Conference co-defensive player of the year, is 12th in the league in scoring and eighth in rebounding. His field goal percentage of 61.7 percent is sixth nationally, and he averages 1.3 blocked shots a game.
Cremins said 6-8 freshman Trent Wiedeman, who is averaging 6.5 points and 5.7 rebounds, will replace Simmons in the starting lineup. Wiedeman started two games earlier this season and had double-doubles in both when Simmons was serving a suspension for violating curfew. Wiedeman had 14 points and 11 rebounds against Georgia Southern and 11 points and 11 rebounds against East Tennessee State.
James Carlton, a 6-7 freshman who has seen limited playing time, will back up Wiedeman.
Furman enters today's game (4 p.m., Comcast Channel 42) at Carolina First Arena coming off a 59-55 win at The Citadel on Thursday.
Cremins calls Furman the most improved team in the conference. The Paladins are 17-6 overall, 9-3 in the SoCon. The Cougars are 16-7, 9-2.
"They are playing with tremendous confidence. It was a heck of a game when we were at their place," Cremins said of Charleston's 76-72 win on Jan. 6. "They beat Wofford at Wofford, and they beat South Carolina."
The College of Charleston women's basketball team (6-16, 3-10 in the SoCon) will face league-leading Appalachian State (18-4, 12-2) at 1 p.m. today in Carolina First Arena. Appalachian State leads the overall series, 17-16, and won in January in Boone, 78-62. Charleston freshman Janae Smith has scored in double figures in eight of her last nine games, including a 33-point game at Wofford in January that tied the school's Division I scoring record.