Positive Thinking

Temple forward Daniel Dingle is a generally positive person. It's a trait the sophomore has relied on after suffering a knee injury in practice last Sunday that kept him out of Wednesday's American Athletic Conference opener against Rutgers and stands a good chance to sideline him for the rest of the season.

Temple forward Daniel Dingle is a generally positive person.

It's a trait the sophomore has relied on after suffering a knee injury in practice last Sunday that kept him out of Wednesday's American Athletic Conference opener against Rutgers and stands a good chance to sideline him for the rest of the season.

Dingle will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus Monday and he is hoping the damage isn't serious enough to keep him off the court the remainder of this year. Regardless, the 6-7 Dingle will miss significant action at a time when he was playing the best basketball of his young career.

"Sitting down and watching my team, not being in practice hurt me, but right now I'm being positive," said Dingle. "I'm looking at it as a minor setback and I'll work hard on rehab and get back and help my team. I'll find out more on Monday.

"Definitely, (being positive) is part of my nature and character. I don't want anyone to worry about me. It's all about the team. They're the ones putting in the hard work."

The Owls could have used Dingle against the Scarlet Knights as they struggled offensively. Quenton DeCosey was the only player hitting shots in the first half, and Dalton Pepper was the lone hot hand in the second half.

Considering Dingle had 25 points and nine assists in the last two contests, it's not unrealistic to think he could have made a difference in the outcome.

"Dan, we're going to miss him for a lot of reasons," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. "He can step up and make shots. He's a good basketball player and a tremendous teammate. These guy's window of opportunity are so short anyway, to cut off 20 games is difficult to bear if it's season-ending. I think we missed him (against Rutgers).

"I think Dan's kind of a real positive kid and I think he'll take this in stride. If this is the worst thing that happens to him in his lifetime, he'll be a pretty lucky guy, but it's not easy."

The Owls dropped to 5-6 with the loss Wednesday and go back on the road to meet Central Florida Saturday. Pepper admitted the loss of Dingle makes the challenge greater.

"That's a huge loss for us, losing Daniel," said Pepper. "Everyone needs to step up and play better and really just close out games."

The loss of Dingle – who had made just his second start of the season against LIU-Brooklyn on Dec. 21 – is exacerbated by the Owls' short roster. They came into the season with just 10 players.

"We're just going to mix and match, there's not much we can do at this point," said Dunphy. "We were crossing our fingers nobody got hurt and (Dingle) did. We're going to have to use a little smoke, a few mirrors and figure it out."

Even if he can't be out on the court, Dingle is hoping to add whatever he can to the Owls the rest of the year.

"This is going to affect us a little bit, but our mindset us strong," said Dingle. "Some guys know they're not coming out now or are going to get more minutes. They just need to have fun with the game. … Take all the positives.

"I'll probably work with the coaches on film, scouting reports, watch each team, talk to the players, my teammates about each individual and characteristics on the court. I'll do that to stay a part of the team, stay vocal, anything to stay positive."


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