Not many have had the type of year that Quincy Diggs just had.
Diggs was officially suspended from the team in early October 2012, only a couple months before the season started. The official reason was for violation of the school's code of conduct, but nothing more was said about specifics.
Diggs then had to watch his team struggle through overtime losses to open the season against Coastal Carolina and Oklahoma State, probably wondering if those results would have been different had he been out there. Akron did just fine without him the rest of the season, reeling off a nineteen game winning streak, winning the MAC regular season and conference tournament, and earning a twelve seed in the NCAA Tournament. But again, that was supposed to be his senior year with the guys he'd played with for two years now.
Diggs was reinstated in early May and has worked his way back into playing shape through the summer. Two years ago he was named the MAC Sixth Man of the Year and was a key contributor to the Zips' team that went to the NIT and almost knocked off Northwestern. With the loss of Brian Walsh, Diggs will probably step into that starting two guard position. The thing with Diggs though, is that he could really play any position on the floor except for center. He can run the point if needed and has the perfect game for a wing as well. That's an added bonus for Keith Dambrot, who has even more flexibility with his lineups with Diggs out there.
A somewhat forgotten about part of Diggs game is his defense. He may not lead the team in rebounds or steals, but he'll guard the best player on the other team and likely shut them down. His long arms and quick hands wreak havoc on a ball handler and he's quick enough to stay with smaller guards. I wouldn't be surprised if Diggs makes all-conference defensive team this year.
The word is starting to get out though about how good Diggs has become. He was voted to the MAC East Preseason First Team and appearing this high on our list is an indication of what he's done in the past and what kind of player he can be this year. There's no telling what a year off of playing Division 1 basketball will do to a player like Diggs. It's different from a redshirt because usually redshirt players are allowed to practice but can't play. Diggs didn't practice with the team until he was reinstated. And you're not going to get the quality of play you face in practice at Rec Center pick-up games. Diggs said during media day he lost twenty pounds of muscle over the time of his suspension, which is really tough to get back.
Those who have seen him in practice say he's one of the best players in the MAC. Dambrot also said some strong words about Diggs and his ability to make his teammates better during media day last week. You could say he has a chip on his shoulder, but he's really got the whole potato (that's bad, I'm sorry). He's got a lot to prove, and with this being his senior year, the motivation factor is there. He's the type of player that wants to prove doubters wrong and I'm sure he's taken "mental notes" of those who said negative things about him regarding the suspension. Adding that fuel to the fire will only elevate Diggs' game to another level.
Most may not remember a whole lot about Quincy Diggs right now, but they're going to know all about him come March.