The USF women’s basketball team’s abbreviated roster took another hit Tuesday when it was announced that junior guard Rachel Sheats will be out for at least four to six weeks because of an injured right knee.
Sheats, who moved to the point guard position after Tristen Webb was lost for the season with a torn ACL, tore the lateral meniscus in her knee in the first quarter of the Bulls’ 66-56 win over Maryland-Baltimore County on Saturday. She was evaluated by doctors on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.
Sheats will have surgery to repair the tear and – depending on her recovery – will miss the Bulls’ next eight games.
With only eight scholarship players, coach Jose Fernandez now has a glaring concern.
“The main thing is depth,” Fernandez said. “We just can’t get up and pressure like we would like. It hurts, but we’ll see how she comes out of surgery.”
Sheats has been a large part of the USF’s front-court press, leading the team in steals (15), despite missing significant portions of the Bulls’ last two games. Sheats is also fourth on the team in points per game (7.3) and assists per game (2.25).
The loss of Sheats gives USF a total of eight healthy scholarship players, three of whom are freshmen.
“We’ll play seven kids,” Fernandez said. “We’ll just have to find other ways to shorten the game now. We’ll have to be creative substitution wise and game-management wise.”