Whatever path the rest of the men’s basketball season will take, David Pellom will be relegated to the sidelines.
The senior forward hasn’t suited up in a Colonial uniform this season. He hasn’t really played since March 2012, when he underwent meniscus surgery on his left knee. While rehabbing that injury, Pellom’s physical woes continued to mount: wrist surgery in July put him out for four to five months. A second surgery in November added four to six weeks onto that projection.
And on Wednesday, the athletics department announced that Pellom wouldn’t join GW for the remainder of the 2012-13 season, attributing his inability to be “cleared to participate in basketball activities” to lingering issues with his left wrist.
The news didn’t come as a total surprise. As the season winds its way toward a close, it almost didn’t make sense to suit up the senior forward after he’d missed so much action. Pellom risked further injury, and now has the option to redshirt and stay with the Colonials for his one remaining year of eligibility.
“Unfortunately his wrist hasn’t really healed up like we thought, so we’ll sit down at the end of the year, Dave’s gonna graduate in the spring, and we’ll sit down with him and his family and see what’s best for Dave and our program,” head coach Mike Lonergan said after Wednesday’s game. “But right now we’re just focusing on this season.”
The athletics department didn’t elaborate further on Pellom’s plans, saying the only information available on the forward was the Wednesday press release.
Last season, Pellom adjusted his play under Mike Lonergan’s new system. Presented with a head coach who valued defense and inside-out play, Pellom became the Colonials’ leading rebounder, averaging 6.1 a game over 27 games played. He became an efficient scorer for GW as well, setting a single-season shooting record on 68.5 percent shooting.
The Colonials have worked to respond to Pellom’s absence from the lineup, benefiting mainly from the additions of senior forward Isaiah Armwood and freshman forward Kevin Larsen. The two have taken over the bulk of the post play, keeping GW’s inside game strong. At times, though, the team has struggled without a go-to scorer. A Pellom return next year could mean additional offensive depth across the Colonial lineup. Returning for a fifth year, too, would boost GW’s veteran numbers for the upcoming season.
“It’s disappointing, I feel really bad for David and our team,” Lonergan said. “All year we’ve been kind of thinking ‘Hey we can do good and get better and then have Dave join us and really add to our team.’”
Nick Ong contributed to this report.