Baye Keita Says He Hopes to Play vs. Boston College

Baye Keita (center, blue shorts) takes part in warmups before the NC State game. - photo: Jeremy Ryan

Syracuse senior Baye Moussa Keita says he is “feeling great” after hurting his knee last week and hopes to be able to play Wednesday when the Orange host Boston College.

Speaking to the media after Syracuse’s 56-55 squeaker over North Carolina State, Keita said he is ready to get back to game action after missing the last two contests with a right knee injury. The reserve center sprained his knee in the first half of the Clemson win on February 9 and missed SU’s exhilarating last-second victories over Pittsburgh and NC State this past week. SU basketball spokesman Pete Moore said Saturday that Keita has not practiced since the injury.

“I’m feeling great,” Keita told reporters after the game Saturday night. “I’ve been on the bike and elliptical the last couple of days. Mentally and physically I think I’m there. I’m going to give it everything I have on Monday (in practice) and see what happens. Usually it takes a couple of weeks (for a sprain like that to heal), but I’m doing great and coming along well. I’m just going to go ahead and see if I can come back on Wednesday.”

Keita came out for pregame warmups with his teammates on Saturday, and looked a bit stiff to me as he jogged through drills. He wore a protective wrap and brace on his right knee, and appeared to baby it slightly when jumping and landing. However, his positive outlook after the game indicates that perhaps he was being overly cautious more than anything else.

Keita is averaging 2.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots in 15.8 minutes per game for the 25-0 (12-0 ACC) Orange. His absence has put more of a workload on junior Rakeem Christmas, who responded Saturday with a near triple-double of 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 blocks in 35 minutes of action. Sophomore forward Jerami Grant has been pressed into action as the backup center when Christmas is resting or in foul trouble, and played about 5 minutes in the middle versus the Wolfpack.

Of course, sophomore center Dajuan Coleman is out for the season after undergoing left knee surgery last month.
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