It remains to be seen how the Washington Huskies will perform without Malik Dime’s presence, but the early returns don’t look particularly promising.
When Markelle Fultz collided with Malik Dime in the waning minutes of the Washington Huskies‘ recent win against Oregon State, fans were understandably concerned. After all, Fultz has been as good as advertised this season, currently leading the team in points and assists, while ranking second in rebounds.
In the end, the 18-year old didn’t suffer a serious injury, and everyone concerned let out a collective sigh of relief. Unfortunately for the Huskies, the news wasn’t as positive for his teammate.
It turned out that Dime suffered a broken finger in the collision with Fultz. As a result, he will miss between four and five weeks of action.
It was suggested there might be a way for the senior to continue playing through the injury. However, Huskies’ coach Lorenzo Romar explained this just wasn’t possible, after the team explored every conceivable avenue.
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Speaking to The Seattle Times‘ Percy Allen and the rest of the media, Romar said: “It’s one of those situations where he would be in too much pain. He could probably injure someone else because he would have to be casted to play.
“A regular soft splint wouldn’t protect it. If there was a way around it, we would do it.”
Some analysts (and fans) believe Dime has taken a step back from last season. On the flip side, he was second in the Pac-12 with 39 blocks at the time of his injury, while also ranking third among Huskies players in boards.
Regardless of your opinion on the Senegal native, the Huskies will still miss his presence. In that respect, Thursday’s game in California gave us the first indication of what life will be like without him.
The Huskies ending up losing 69-59, in the process seeing their conference record drop to 1-3. What was most notable was the impact of California’s star forward Ivan Rabb, who finished with game-highs in points (20) and rebounds (14).
Of course, it’s possible Rabb would have still dominated even if Dime had played, but it was clear the Huskies struggled without him. The question is, what will the impact be in the coming weeks, with the forward not expected back until early February?
Against California, Atewe saw more action, recording five points, four rebounds and four blocks in 24 minutes of action. However, Timmins figures to get more opportunities moving forward, with Devenir Duruisseau also possibly seeing increased playing time.
In truth, Huskies fans will not care who steps up, as long as someone does. If not, it’s conceivable the season will already be lost, by the time Dime returns to the court.
What’s your position regarding the loss of Dime? Do you think it will make much difference, or do you believe the Huskies will be just fine without him? Share your thoughts in the comments section.