Gonzaga freshman center Jacob Larsen will miss the entire 2016-17 season after suffering a knee injury in practice this week. Coach Mark Few made the announcement Friday. Larsen’s injury comes on the eve of Gonzaga’s annual “Kraziness in the Kennell” event at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Gonzaga freshman Jacob Larsen out for the season with a knee injury, school announces. Native of Denmark.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) October 8, 2016
Larsen, a native of Denmark, was part of the Bulldogs highly-ranked 2016 recruiting class. The 6’11” center was one of four four-star recruits in Gonzaga’s freshman class along with Zach Collins, Killian Tillie and Zach Norvell.
Larsen was the latest in a long line of international big men that Coach Few has recruited to Gonzaga. Few has seen a pair of international centers, Kelly Olynyk and Domantas Sabonis, go on to become first-round draft picks over the past four years.
While Larsen’s loss will no doubt be a set back for the Bulldogs with their official season opener against Utah Valley State just 34 days away, the timing of his injury will allow him to redshirt without having to apply for a medical hardship.
Gonzaga will now have to hope some of the team’s other returners upfront like Ryan Edwards and some of the newcomers like Zach Collins, Rui Hacimura, and Killian Tillie can pick up some of the lost contributions from Larsen. It won’t be an easy task, but at least there are some solid options.
This is a sizable blow to Gonzaga’s hopes coming into this season, but based on how the Bulldogs have responded in the past, don’t count out the team just yet.