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Chris Clarke is done for the season with a torn ACL. [Credit: Harley Taylor][/caption]The Virginia Tech Hokies picked up a huge win last night coming from down 14 at halftime to beat at-the-time 12th-ranked Virginia 80-78 in double overtime. The Hokies also did this without Chris Clarke who went down during the middle of the second half with a knee injury on a drive in what was a non-contact injury which is never a good sign.
Today, Chris Clarke had a MRI on his knee that revealed some awful news for him and VT.
Chris Clarke is out for the season due to a torn ACL that he suffered in the second half against Virginia on a fast break. In his 24 games this season, Clarke averaged 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 28.9 minutes per game that included the first triple-double in Virginia Tech history against The Citadel.
The loss of Clarke is significant for the Hokies as Clarke could do it all as arguably the Hokies' best defender that could get to the rim and score or be an effective passer to set up teammates along with being Virginia Tech's rebounder. Clarke also played with one of the highest motors of any player in America, and the Hokies are now without a guy who could spark a run with his energy.
The Hokies simply don't have a player that can step in and take the role of Clarke on his own and will need plenty of players to step up to fill for that role. One man that likely will see his role grow is Ty Outlaw and while Outlaw isn't as athletic or as good of a passer or rebounder, Outlaw has shown that he has the potential to be a dangerous three-point shooter if he can get out of his slump.
Overall, the Hokies will need guys like Zach LeDay, Justin Bibbs, Ty Outlaw, and Khadim Sy to all be more productive on the glass and try to replace the Hokies' leading rebounder while VT will need veterans like LeDay and Seth Allen even more now to be the spark plugs that can ignite a run when the Hokies need one.
This is a tough loss for a Virginia Tech team that doesn't have much depth whatsoever but if there is a positive that can give Hokies' fans more confidence, it's that the Hokies were still able to come back against UVA after going down by as much as 7 after Clarke went out to force overtime and get a big win.
For the Hokies, they'll have to adapt now that Chris Clarke is done while the Hokies' depth has been extremely depleted with Ty Outlaw and Khadim Sy being left behind what's likely the main five of Justin Robinson, Seth Allen, Ahmed Hill, Justin Bibbs, and Zach LeDay.
In the long term, you have to wonder if Chris Clarke will be back next season with the most optimistic timetable not having him back ready to play till next November or December with a redshirt next year being very possible given the severity of this injury.
We wish Chris Clarke a speedy and full recovery from his torn ACL.
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