Tre Demps’ freshman season came to an end Tuesday when the Northwestern guard underwent surgery on his left shoulder.
The Wildcats expect him to return to the court in 4-5 months. The all-state player from Texas and son of New Orleans Hornets general manager Dell Demps likely could get a medical redshirt despite having played in four games.
Demps’ injury thins NU’s backcourt, and there’s potential for more bad news.
A team official said that Alex Marcotullio, who has been slowed by a toe injury, had an MRI on Monday. The results have yet to be released.
Marcotullio, the team’s top long-range threat, has been limited in practice and hasn’t hit more than two 3-pointers in a game this season.
On the flip side, swingman JerShon Cobb has recovered from a concussion that left him on the bench for NU’s last three games. Cobb practiced Monday for the first time since taking a shot to the nose Nov. 25 against Stony Brook.
Demps suffered his shoulder injury in August, telling the Tribune he “felt a pop” after hand-checking Oklahoma City first-round pick Reggie Jackson in a pickup game.
He immediately thought he needed surgery but was cleared after getting evaluated by several doctors.
Demps started in NU’s Nov. 7 exhibition against Robert Morris and looked strong despite playing with a sleeve on his left shoulder. He scored 13 points, hitting 3 of 5 from 3-point land, and dished out three assists to one turnover in 28 minutes.
But Demps struggled after that. He got big minutes against Texas-Pan American and Mississippi Valley State and brief looks against Stony Brook and Georgia Tech. He shot just 3-for-17 and made 1 of 5 free throws.
“The injury really limited Tre and it was in his best interest to get it taken care of at this time,” NU coach Bill Carmody said.
The Wildcats are 7-1, and analysts project them to make their first NCAA tournament in school history. They’ll play three times in four days beginning Thursday with a game against Texas Southern at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Football: Defensive tackle Niko Mafuli will miss the Meineke Car Care Bowl after breaking his leg in practice Saturday. Evan Watkins has moved to superback (tight end/fullback) after getting buried on the depth chart at quarterback.