The news every Friar fan feared yet expected finally has arrived; according to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal and a Providence College press release, sophomore point guard Kris Dunn will have season-ending shoulder surgery. Dunn re-injured the shoulder (the same shoulder that sidelined him before he even put on a Providence uniform last year) in an exhibition game November 2 against Rhode Island College. He attempted to play through pain against Vermont and during the Paradise Jam versus Vanderbilt, La Salle, and Maryland, yet was noticeably favoring the shoulder in the game against the Terps. The school and Dunn will likely apply for a medical redshirt, which will allow the second year player three full seasons of eligibility.
As I’ve said before, Dunn is the best and most important player on this roster. With freshman Brandon Austin still suspended, he was the lone true PG in uniform. And look no further than the game against Vermont to see his impact on BOTH sides of the ball for this team; after another listless start for the Friars on offense, Cooley inserted Dunn after the under 16 timeout. Dunn proceeded to rack up 8 assists and 3 steals in 21 minutes of play in a 70-49 Friar romp. He keyed the massive comeback against Vandy. To paraphrase Reggie Jackson, Dunn is the straw that stirs the Providence drink. And now he’s gone.
The Big East is losing one of its most exciting, dynamic, and fun players. It’s without question a devastating blow to any NCAA hopes for the Friars. Now the next shoe to drop is will the two freshmen (Austin and forward Rodney Bullock) be reinstated for the next semester. We should know before PC’s game against Yale on December 17. But if they are not, this team that once had aspirations of their first NCAA appearance since 2004 will be fighting for a birth in the NIT. And if Bryce Cotton, whose already logging over 36 minutes a game on a surgically repaired knee, should go down? Hoo boy, that’s a thought no Friar or Big East fan wants to have.
Gavin Keefe of The Day based in New London, CT is reporting Dunn WILL apply for a medical redshirt: