To say that Temple’s first season in the American Athletic Conference has been a tough one would be an understatement. Fran Dunphy’s team began the season with ten players, making it even more important for the Owls to avoid the injury bug. Unfortunately for Temple that hasn’t been the case, with multiple players having already missed games due to injury, and on Thursday night another key contributor went down.
Less than a minute into the Owls’ 82-75 loss to USF leading scorer Will Cummings hit the deck due to a hard screen set by Chris Perry, and while he was able to play much of the first half the junior guard left the game late in the first half and did not return according to Nick Menta of CSN Philly.
Cummings left the game due to concussion-like symptoms, and according to Dunphy it remains to be seen if he’ll be available for Saturday’s game against No. 24 Memphis.
Prior to the start of the second half, Temple announced Cummings has concussion-like symptoms.
“It’s concussion-like symptoms, so we’ll have to see tomorrow,” Dunphy said about a potential timetable for Cummings. “The way those things happen these days, there’s going to have to be a lot of baseline testing. And if he can perform on Saturday, we’ll see.”
Cummings’ injury left the Owls with just seven available players with forward Daniel Dingle out with a torn meniscus and fellow forward Mark Williams dealing with a sprained ankle. Already shorthanded, it’s safe to say that Temple isn’t in the best shape to take on a team with the depth and talent of Memphis with just one day to prepare.
Through 13 games Cummings is averaging 16.5 points and 4.0 assists per game, so if he were unable to go that would clearly be a significant loss for Temple. Quenton DeCosey, who scored 20 points against USF, is averaging 15.8 points per game after accounting for just under two points per contest as a freshman on last season’s senior-laden team. Already a key figure, DeCosey likely becomes even more important offensively if Cummings were forced to sit out on Saturday afternoon.
Now 0-3 in conference play and 5-8 overall, Temple can use all the help they can get on the injury front. Left with little room for error before the season even began, the Owls are in a tough spot entering a five-game stretch that consists of Memphis, two games against Cincinnati, Big 5 rival La Salle and UConn.