Life has given Matthew Fisher-Davis some particularly sour lemons.
After tearing his right labrum against Kentucky earlier this month, Fisher-Davis will have surgery on Friday to repair his shoulder and miss the remainder of his senior season. However, despite the bleak situation, Fisher-Davis is making some pretty sweet lemonade from those sour lemons.
“I mean, there’s a desire in me to kind of be a coach at some point,” Fisher-Davis said on Thursday. “I feel like I can kind of get a jump start on that now. Just kind of what I’m going to use it as.”
According to head coach Bryce Drew. he’s excited to have an extra set of eyes on the bench with him.
“He definitely enjoys talking to guys, helping guys,” Drew said of Fisher-Davis. “He processes things very quickly and he sees things very easily. I told him you’re not playing but we’ve got another assistant coach for the last month and a half , so we’ll be picking your brain and I think he’s excited for that.”
With professional basketball dreams still within reach, working on a future coaching job is obviously not the ideal situation as a 22-year-old. But, Fisher-Davis is beginning to embrace his new role for the rest of the season.
It won’t be easy, though.
“It’s real frustrating,” he said. “I feel like I can help them at times, especially in close games, SEC teams, they get real emotional. I get real frustrated.”
While Fisher-Davis said his professional future was the deciding factor in his decision to shut down for the season, he wasn’t ready to say if the NBA Draft was a thought. According to him, the recovery time for his surgery is six months.
When he was hurt earlier this January against Kentucky, he initially attempted to return to the game in the second half, but he quickly found out his injury was worse than he feared.
“Adrenaline kind of takes over, so you can kind of play through things you wouldn’t necessarily be able to play through,” he said. “Once we went to zone, I tried to put my hands up and my shoulder kind of just dropped it. I knew right then that it was time.”
Many in the Vanderbilt community have shown support for Fisher-Davis since he was shut down for the year.
“Everybody’s been pretty supportive,” Obviously, they didn’t want me to go out like this, I didn’t want to go out like this. But, things happen and I’ll be fine.”
On the floor, Vanderbilt will be hard-pressed to make up for Fisher-Davis’ scoring touch. This Tuesday against Tennessee, fellow seniors Riley LaChance and Jeff Roberson combined for 46 points while the rest of the team combined for just 16.
He will be sorely missed on the floor, and as a person, Drew was gutted for his senior star.
“It’s tough,” Drew said. “First, we don’t want to lose him for the year. That really hurts us. On a personal note, you’re a senior and you hate sitting out the second half of your senior season. You want to go out with the guys you came in with three or four years ago and go out together. Mentally, it’ll be tough for him for the next month and a half.”
There are many different ways a player can handle an injury like this during a senior season. Fisher-Davis appears to be handling it with his head held high and a good attitude.
“Injuries come along with the game,” he said. “Obviously, I’d rather finish the season out. But for me, I’ve got comfort that God has a plan so just trust in him and I’ll be alright coming back from it.”