Jaylen Fisher was off to the best start of his collegiate basketball career. The 6’2” junior guard looked every bit the part of a superstar through the Frogs’ non-conference schedule, scoring a season-high 15 points in a marquee game against USC at Staples Center, averaging over 12 points per game and draining 44% of his attempts from deep.
But after swelling returned to his knee upon the team’s return from Hawaii, Fisher hit the bench, missing TCU’s first three games of conference play. Now, according to Jamie Dixon, he may be out for the rest of the season. “I don’t see him playing for the foreseeable future. There was swelling, they drained it and it’s still swelling. It’s just where we’re at. I can’t give you anymore than that. He’s obviously devastated and frustrated. It’s a meniscus surgery that just hasn’t gone as most go.”
Fisher has yet to finish a season with the Frogs, playing in 35 games as a freshman before missing the NIT Tournament run, and being shut down after just 17 contests a season ago. One of the Frogs’ most dynamic players on both ends of the floor, his loss is a tough pill to swallow for a program looking to be legitimate competitors in the Big 12 Conference this year.
The good news is, TCU is used to playing without one of their spiritual leaders, and freshmen Kendric Davis (5/2.5/2) and RJ Nembhard (16 points and five rebounds in his last two games) have stepped up in his absence. But, with depth an issue for a team that has seen three players transfer out of the program this semester, the prospect of being without Fish the rest of the way is a daunting one. And his absence was certainly felt down the stretch Saturday against Oklahoma, where a long scoreless stretch to start the second half coupled with a couple of killer late turnovers doomed TCU, despite having a rare ranked road win within their grasp.
One of the most vocal players on the floor when playing and the bench when not, Jaylen will certainly remain part of the program. But, as he is currently eligible for a medical redshirt, it’s likely to be as a cheerleader/coach, not as a floor general in 2019.
Get well soon, Fish.