Before the start of the 2012-13 season, Akron head coach Keith Dambrot announced that 6-6 forward Quincy Diggs was suspended for the entire year due to a violation of the school’s Code of Student Conduct.
Even with the return of key figures like center Zeke Marshall this was seen as an important loss for the Zips, as Diggs was coming off of a season in which he averaged 8.5 points per game and won MAC Sixth Man of the Year honors.
On Wednesday the university issued a statement announcing that the senior has been reinstated and will play for the Zips in 2013-14. Diggs rejoins a roster that still has rising seniors Nick Harney and Demetrius Treadwell.
There are two questions for Akron as they work towards the start of practices in October: how will they account for the graduation of Marshall, and how much can rising sophomore Carmelo Betancourt progress at the point.
Betancourt played in 33 games as a freshman but saw his minutes increase when incumbent Alex Abreu ended up in legal trouble. In seven of Akron’s final eight games Betancourt played double-digit minutes (including a season-high 31 minutes in their NCAA tournament loss to VCU), and in those eight games he accounted for 21 assists and 17 turnovers.
The addition of Diggs gives Akron some more experience in the front court, which will also include 6-11 center Pat Forsythe (3.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and two newcomers in Kwan Cheatham and Isaiah Johnson.
But if Akron is to return to the NCAA tournament for the third time in the last four years, the Zips will need Betancourt to have an impact.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.