After playing in the first ten games of the 2013-14 season, Temple sophomore forward Daniel Dingle was forced to miss the remainder of the year due to a torn meniscus. Losing Dingle hurt Fran Dunphy’s Owls from a depth standpoint, and Temple’s lack of bodies was a major factor in their winning just nine games overall and four in the American Athletic Conference.
As they look towards the 2014-15 season Temple received some good news regarding Dingle, as it was announced that his request for a medical hardship waiver was approved. This means Dingle will have three years of eligibility remaining as opposed to the two he would have if the appeal were denied.
Generally in these cases the player can play in no more than 30% of his team’s games in order to receive the waiver, but Dingle’s was approved despite sitting just above that mark (32.3%).
“I had some hopes,” Dingle added. “I talked to a lot of compliance [officials] trying to figure out if it was possible. At first, I had a little bit of doubt.”
Still, there are gray areas surrounding in-season and postseason tournaments, which evidently helped Dingle’s case.
“You always apply, and you never know,” Dunphy said. “They talked about the fact we had played the extra game in the [conference] tournament. Got him over the hump.”
According to Nick Menta of CSN Philly, Dingle is still rehabbing the injury but is expected to return to basketball activities at some point in May. The return of the 6-foot-7 Dingle is an important one for Temple, which lost forward Anthony Lee (he’ll graduate and transfer to another Division I school) at the conclusion of this season.
Next season, in addition to Dingle, Temple will have three other front court returnees in forwards Jimmy McDonnell and Mark Williams and center Devontae Watson. Also of note are the addition of two pieces in the form of Texas transfer Jaylen Bond and incoming freshman Obi Enechionyia.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.
Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.
Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.
Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).
In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.