Vanderbilt’s best player, sophomore wing Aaron Nesmith, is out for Saturday’s game against Texas A&M with a foot injury and a source confirmed to CBS Sports that it is feared he could miss the rest of the season.
The source said Nesmith, one of the best shooters in college basketball and a 2020 NBA Draft prospect, has sustained a foot stress fracture that will sideline him for a number of weeks if not months. While Nesmith could miss the rest of the season, that has not yet been decided. The news of Nesmith’s injury was first reported by Vanderbilt’s student newspaper, the Hustler, on Friday. Vanderbilt announced Saturday that Nesmith would not play against the Aggies
Nesmith has blossomed into an NBA prospect thanks to his ever-reliable long-range shot. The 6-foot-6 forward has made 52.2% of his 3-pointers this season (60 for 115) on his way to averaging 23.0 points and 4.9 rebounds. Nesmith, in turn, has become one of the most efficient players in college basketball, posting a 128.0 offensive rating at KenPom, among the best in the sport.
The injury is a major setback for a Vanderbilt squad that’s 8-6 and coming off a four-point loss against Auburn on Wednesday. Nesmith aggravated his condition in that Auburn game, wherein he played 39 minutes and scored 14 points.
It’s also bad luck for the program in this regard: it’s the second straight season that Vanderbilt has lost its best player for a long period of time due to injury. In 2018, eventual top-five pick Darius Garland was injured five games into the season with a torn ACL.