“Dwaun Anderson will average double figures (in points). His role is certainly going to increase. He’s looking around the gym now and there’s a bunch of freshmen looking at him to produce and I think he’s taken on that challenge.”
Those were Bashir Mason’s words at NEC Social Media Day on the prospects of his talented forward Dwaun Anderson. With five of Wagner’s top six leading scorers no longer on the Staten Island campus, Anderson was being relied upon to take on more of the offensive load. After posting just a 86 offensive rating as a sophomore, sources inside the program felt like the athletic forward’s time to shine was now.
Unfortunately for the former Michigan State signee, Anderson’s potential breakout season will have to wait a little longer.
Per Cormac Gordan of the Staten Island Advance, Anderson broke his left foot on Saturday in a closed scrimmage versus Dartmouth. The initial reports are he will miss up to two months, with a chance at returning by the start of the conference season on Jan. 3, 2015.
The roster is now even more lacking in experience. Now that Anderson is out, only Marcus Burton played at least 12% of Wagner’s available minutes last season. Excluding Burton, who averaged 11.0 ppg on 41% shooting as a reserve guard, only four others — Nolan Long, Greg Senat, Hugo Naurais and Langston Burnett — return any kind of Division I experience. Those four combined for a grand total of 120 points, 144 rebounds and 14 blocks for the 2013-14 season. And least two of them will likely see significant game time moving forward.
Forecasting ahead, Andrerson’s injury could lead to a bigger Seahawks’ lineup in the short term, especially if Mike Aaman is granted eligibility this season. Even if he isn’t cleared to play, Mason has six other players at his disposal standing at 6’5″ or larger. In particular, junior college transfer Stedman Allen, more suited as a back to the basket type of player, could see minutes at the “3” given the inexperience of several others competing for those same minutes.
“Stedman (Allen) will play a lot and the freshman we have (at small forward) has been a pleasant surprise in Japhet Kadji,” Mason said three weeks ago before Anderson’s injury.
Now without the presence of his second longest tenured Seahawk in Anderson, Mason’s rebuilding project just got a little tougher. The 30-year head coach will hope his newcomers will weather the rebuilding storm before the real games begin next year.
You can follow Ryan on Twitter @pioneer_pride