As I reported today, Hawaii freshman center Caleb Dressler will be out for the entire 2013-14 season once he gets back surgery in the coming days.
It’s a tough break for Dressler, who waited his turn all of last season as a redshirt.
This is a blow to the depth of the UH frontcourt, though not necessarily one the team will feel. It’s hard to know if Dressler would have beat out Stefan Jovanovic as the team’s fourth true big man in the rotation, and we won’t know — at least, not until next season (if both players are still here). It was unlikely both Dressler and Jovanovic would have received regular minutes.
Still, this means UH can’t afford another loss of a frontcourt player this year without it taking a toll on the other bigs. Mike Thomas will probably be pressed into service guarding larger (and bulkier) post players as things stand.
While the Big West remains a smallball league, the projected winner of the preseason poll, UC Irvine, has gone the other direction, loading up with 7-footers. You have to wonder if UH will have enough big bodies to throw at teams like that this year, which might be a curious thing to say considering size was last season’s strength.
But there’s no Vander Joaquim to soak up attention now and UH will spend many minutes with 6-foot-8 forwards Isaac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger as the biggest ‘Bows on the court.
UH got a few other sidelined players back in action on Friday. Keith Shamburger recovered from an illness, Niko Filipovich was back from his dislocated shoulder and Negus Webster-Chan shook off a poked eye. Besides Dressler, the only ‘Bow still out was Jack Hackman, who’s still sick.