BREAKING: Wake Forest has announced that both Damari Monsanto and Jao Ituka have been cleared to play and will dress tomorrow against Louisville. pic.twitter.com/E8Ufj6hMCB— Les Johns (@Les_Johns) January 19, 2024
Monsanto, the sharpshooter extraordinaire, had surgery last February to repair a torn left patella tendon that he injured in a game against NC State. Up until that point, Monsanto was averaging a career high 13.3 points per game and shooting 40.5% from beyond the arc, good for the 2nd best percentage in the ACC. Monsanto is known to can catch fire at any time and often produces game changing scoring runs right by himself. His return to the court will give the Deacs a huge spark offensively and help space the floor for Boopie Miller, Cam Hildreth, and Hunter Sallis.
Ituka, who transferred to Wake Forest at the end of the 2021-22 season, played just 6 games in 2022-23 after injuring his knee in the preseason. He had another setback this season and was forced to get surgery in September after a lateral meniscus injury in practice. Thankfully, it seems Ituka is now healthy and ready to play. Before being waylaid by those injuries, Ituka averaged 15.3 points per game and shot 41% from the 3-point line at Marist. He should give the Deacs some much needed depth at the point guard position to finish out the season.
It is fantastic that these two guys are healthy and finally able to get back to playing basketball.