- Associated Press - Thursday, March 10, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - St. John’s senior guard D.J. Kennedy tore the ACL in his right knee during the Red Storm’s Big East tournament loss to Syracuse. He will undergo surgery and miss the NCAA tournament.

Kennedy, the 17th-ranked Red Storm’s third-leading scorer (10.7) and leading rebounder (5.7), went down to the court while going after an offensive rebound Thursday in the first half of the 79-73 quarterfinal loss to No. 11 Syracuse.

He immediately called for the trainer and was helped off the court by two teammates, keeping his right leg off the ground.

Kennedy underwent X-rays and an MRI and was later examined by team physician and orthopedist Answorth Allen at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Following surgery, Kennedy’s recovery time could be between six and eight months.

“This is a tough time to lose both a leader and vital member of our team,” first-year coach Steve Lavin said. “D.J. Kennedy has consistently influenced the game at both ends of the floor throughout our successful season. We will miss his leadership, versatility and experience. Our basketball family is determined to bring an inspired effort to pay tribute to D.J. Kennedy for his outstanding contributions to our program. Our players recognize we would not be participating in the NCAA tournament without D.J.’s efforts. He will continue to add value as we continue our postseason journey.”

Kennedy is one of 10 seniors on the St. John’s roster who led the turnaround and saw the Red Storm assure themselves of the school’s first NCAA tournament bid since 2002.

“I’ve wanted to play in the NCAA tournament since I picked up a basketball in grade school, and this is a real blow,” Kennedy said. “I am disappointed on a personal level, but I am happy that I will be with my teammates on the road during the tournament, supporting them the way they always support me.”

Kennedy is 12th on St. John’s career scoring list with 1,504 points and 11th with 781 rebounds.

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