For those Friar fans wondering where Drew Edwards has been lately — he sat out Providence’s final non-conference game against Boston College last week — Ed Cooley may have hinted at a potential answer: Edwards might get shut down to redshirt. The possibility was raised during the Big East coaches media teleconference on Tuesday morning. Cooley mentioned that Edwards has struggled to get back up to speed following his offseason knee surgery.
“He’s not there yet. He’s still feeling the after effects of surgery. We’ve got some decisions to make with him because he’s definitely not at 100%. [Redshirting] is definitely a possibility. It’s something we’ve got to take about with the doctors, the trainer, with his parents, with him. We don’t want to put him in jeopardy where he could hurt himself moving forward. If he’s not able to go we take a step back but it’ll be an opportunity for someone else to step in.”
Being that Edwards has already played in 8 games this season any discussion of redshirting would revolve around what the NCAA calls a medical hardship waiver. Providence went through this process successfully with Ted Bancroft to get one more year of eligibility for the walk-on turned scholarship player for the 2014-15 season. Edwards currently meets the baseline requirements in that he hasn’t played in more than 30% of the team’s total games and he hasn’t played in any games beyond the halfway game mark. The other factor will be whether or not his injury is considered serious enough to warrant shutting him down.
Edwards injured his knee during non-conference play a season ago but played through the pain to become a hero of Providence’s first NCAA Tournament win since 1997 when he threw the in-bounds pass to Rodney Bullock for the game-winning basket against Southern Cal. The offseason knee surgery took place in early June and Edwards was sidelined from full contact until late October. In his 8 games on the floor he’s averaged 3.0 points/game in 10.8 minutes/game.
It’s pretty easy to see who would step into any minutes Edwards would have gotten because that’s already been happening. Isaiah Jackson and Ryan Fazekas appear likely to be an offense/defense combination at the 2-guard spot and freshmen Maliek White and Alpha Diallo should also get some of the minutes Edwards would have stepped into if he does indeed get shut down at this point. No decision has been announced but if Edwards doesn’t play the next two games that would be a strong signal that redshirting will in fact occur.
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