Xavier's Zach Freemantle to have foot surgery, miss rest of season

Xavier star big man Zach Freemantle will undergo left foot surgery on Tuesday and won't return this season, the school announced Sunday.

Freemantle hasn't played since Jan. 28 due to a left foot injury that was expected to sideline him for around a month. This week's Big East tournament had been earmarked as a potential return date, but the surgery will end any hope of a return this season.

A 6-foot-9 senior from New Jersey, Freemantle was Xavier's second-leading scorer (15.2 PPG) and leading rebounder (8.1 RPG) before suffering his injury. He had four double-doubles in his final eight games while healthy, including a 30-point, 11-rebound, 7-assist performance against Georgetown.

Without Freemantle, coach Sean Miller has opted for a more versatile lineup, inserting Jerome Hunter into the starting five for the past nine games. During that stretch, Hunter is averaging 10.2 points and 6.2 rebounds, and the Musketeers' defense has been more consistent.

Xavier (23-8 overall, 15-5 in the Big East) earned the 2-seed in the conference tournament and will play the winner of Wednesday's Seton Hall-DePaul quarterfinal matchup.