Skip to content

Awa Sidibe out indefinitely for Rutgers women's basketball

Graduate student guard Awa Sidibe will be out indefinitely after suffering an undisclosed injury. – Photo by Ariel Fox /

The Rutgers women’s basketball team prevailed against Monmouth in its first game of the 2023-2024 season, but it was noticeably without graduate student guard Awa Sidibe.

Sidibe, who is entering her third year on the Banks, was in street clothes during pregame warmups and did not run out with the team for introductions.

After the Scarlet Knights (1-0, 0-0) 56-51 win over the Hawks (0-0, 0-1) on Monday night, head coach Coquese Washington addressed the media about Sidibe’s status and told reporters that she was dealing with an injury.

“She’ll be out indefinitely,“ Washington said of Sidibe. “So when she’s ready to come back, she’ll be back.”

Sidibe’s loss comes as a surprise to the program after she was 1 of 2 Rutgers players last season to start all 32 games. Last year, Sidibe averaged 9.3 points per game and just more than five rebounds per game, operating as a point guard for the Knights.

Rutgers’ 11-women roster will now be down to 10 for the time being. While it’s an improvement from only eight rostered players last season, walk-on freshman guard Kennedy Brandt’s playing status remains up in the air. 

Against Monmouth, Brandt didn’t see any minutes. If Brandt does not play in the opening stretch of the season, the Knights will only have nine players with four players available off the bench.

Sidibe’s absence, though, could potentially speed up Brandt’s development. Before the season, Washington spoke on the move to add Brandt to the roster, emphasizing that bringing on someone who values the culture of the team and the idea of being selfless is crucial.

“We got a chance to meet (Brandt), and who she is as a person and what she brings to the table from a competitive standpoint in practice is just really invaluable,” Washington said. “An opportunity to bring her in and add another body to the roster and give us some more numbers was important, and she’s the perfect fit for that role.”

In Sidibe’s absence, new and familiar faces will have to step up.

Sophomore guard Mya Petticord will take the reins as Rutgers’ starting point guard after transferring in from Texas A&M.

"I'm naturally a point guard, so I feel like being in that role is no pressure for me," Petticord said. "Being a point guard on this team, I feel like it's a great opportunity for us, and we can do big things this year."

Junior guard and forward and UNC transfer Destiny Adams along with senior center Chyna Cornwell will handle rebounding duties as well as getting into the paint on offense.

As sophomore guard Kaylene Smikle gets healthier from an injury that Washington said she sustained, the 2022-2023 All-Big Ten Second Team guard should make a big impact as well.

Some of the team’s younger players, including sophomore guard and forward Antonia Bates as well as freshman guards Jillian Huerter and Lisa Thompson should get more playing time in Sidibe's absence.

The Knights will return to action at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus this Thursday against Wagner with a 7 p.m. tip-off and will remain at home for a tough matchup with Auburn, scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Thursday’s game against the Seahawks (0-0, 0-0) will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus as well as 88.7 WRSU-FM while Sunday’s game against the Tigers (1-0, 0-0) will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

For more updates on the Rutgers women's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on X.

To view more of Josh Meyers' work, follow @JoshCMeyers on X.

Related Articles

Join our newsletterSubscribe