One player who would love to fill that void is Sheray Thomas. He never really played the way he wanted this season after undergoing preseason surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor. But he's not lost hope for the next two years.
"I would probably say I was close to 90 percent (of my strength) at the end," said Thomas. "I am still a little down physically. It just takes time because it is hard to gain weight and strength back when you are doing all the running we do during the season practicing and playing game. But I feel great and I'll get back to 100 percent this summer.
"I am going to take some time away from basketball for a few weeks to get my weight and strength back to where I am 100 percent. Then I am really going to get to work."
He says he still has no regrets over not redshirting despite his limited playing time.
"I didn't want to sit out. If I had sat out, I would have been beating myself up in bed every night. I am glad I came back and played and did whatever I could to help the team. Any minute I got to play made it worthwhile," Thomas said. "Next year I am hoping I can play a big role with Chuck gone. It depends on what the coaching staff wants, but I feel I can step in there and help a lot."
If all goes as planned, Thomas plans to do more running this offseason to get in shape to play more minutes next year. "I'm also going to work on all my weaknesses that the coaches tell me every day this summer," he said.
He played on a Canadian junior national team last summer, but he likely won't do that this year to give himself time to regain his strength and weight. He said he also might try to take summer school classes.
"Basically I am just glad I got back out there this year after the surgery. I was happy just to have a chance to play again," Thomas said. "But next year I am going to expect more. I know I can do more and I know the team needs me to do more. That's going to motivate me all summer."