Big blow for SJU basketball team

The St. John’s basketball team will have to make due without its leading scorer from a year ago for at least the early portion of the 2013-14 season.

Senior wing Seth Marx — who averaged a team-best 12.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game a year ago — suffered a dislodged right meniscus last week and underwent surgery on Monday.

Marx, who was on crutches at practice Thursday, said he will see a doctor Friday to get a more complete update on how long he might be out of action. But Johnnies coach Jim Smith said he expects it could be about six weeks.

St. John’s opens the season against St. Cloud State at 4 p.m. on Nov. 16 at Halenbeck Hall.

“It sucks, it really does,” said Marx, a three-year starter who hit 63 3-pointers a year ago. “But I’ll be back. It’s my senior year. I don’t plan on missing any more time than I have to.”

Marx said the injury was just a fluke. It occurred as he stood up in the locker room post-practice.

“I was sitting down with my legs crossed and I tried to stand up,” Marx said. “I just heard a pop.”

Smith said losing Marx is a big blow for a team that has battled a number of nagging injuries already this young preseason.

“It could have been year-ending, so we’re fortunate in that way,” Smith said. “We’re hopeful he can be back in six weeks. But still, he’s a guy who plays so hard and is such a great leader for us. It’s just really tough to see this happen.

“Seth is just a weapon, especially with his outside shooting. Losing him hurts. But somebody else will have to step up and do the job.”

Smith said eight players were sitting out practice due to injury Thursday, though he is hopeful that Blake Maslonkowski, the former St. Cloud Apollo star who transferred from Division II Mary (N.D.) this past offseason, could return next week. 

He has been out with a dislocated shoulder.

Senior guard Patrick Butcher, who has been out with a syst in his back, could also return next week as well.

“I might be as healthy as anybody here,” said a smiling Smith, who is entering his 50th season as the head coach at the school. “That’s a scary thought.”

Former longtime Little Falls High School coach Al Bauman was at Thursday’s practice looking on.

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