LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette men’s basketball team announced Monday that junior forward Jay Hedgeman has been suspended for the rest of the season for conduct detrimental to the team.
A spokesman said the team would not offer further comment on the nature of the suspension.
Coach Bob Marlin said he made his team aware of the news before Saturday’s game against Texas State, which the Ragin’ Cajuns lost 61-57.
“We met Saturday morning about it,” Marlin said. “They’re familiar with what’s going on. I think it may have hurt us a little bit in the first half (against Texas State), just the getting used to the situation.”
The 6-foot-7 Hedgeman was expected to play a fairly big role on the team this season, his first with the Cajuns after transferring from San Jacinto College, but he had trouble cracking the upper tier of the rotation.
He started four of the 24 games he appeared in — all during the nonconference portion of the schedule — and was averaging 4.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 13.6 minutes. Those averages dipped to 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11.5 minutes against conference opponents.
The last time Hedgeman cracked double figures in scoring was when he scored 12 points against Troy — which the Cajuns play Thursday — and he was held to a total of 15 points in his past seven games.
“Jay had not played well,” Marlin said. “If you look back, he hasn’t played well this semester. His last good game was against Troy, ironically. He wasn’t really giving us production on the court, so I think we’ll be able to get by.”
When it comes to filling Hedgeman’s playing time, Marlin sounded as though he would be looking for the players on his bench who deserve increased playing time, regardless of position.
“(Junior guard Hayward Register) hit a couple big shots for us in the second half, and he could get more minutes, hopefully,” Marlin said. “We’ll see. We wanted to play (junior guard Elijah McGuire) more in that (Texas State) game, and he didn’t. He played a little bit in each half, but very sparingly. Just a couple of minutes.”
Register was a starter earlier in the year but has been used almost exclusively off the bench since the Cajuns began Sun Belt play. He is averaging 6.9 points in 14.9 minutes per game against conference opponents.
McGuire, who joined the team in January, is averaging just over three minutes per game.