Daniel Dingle’s highest minutes per game average for a season at Temple came during his 2015-16 campaign for the Owls, when he averaged 20.7 minutes per game. In Temple’s first game of the 2017-16 season, Dingle played a game and career high 43 minutes. Talk about drastic increase.
This is the most he has ever played in a single game under Fran Dunphy and probably the longest he has ever played in a regulated contest. Granted, the game did go into overtime, but even at the end of regulation, the fifth year senior captain had already logged 38 minutes on the hardwood. The major distribution of minutes for Dingle payed off in the end, as Temple was able to hold off Big 5 rival La Salle in a 97-92 win at the Liacouras Center. After watching what Dingle could do on the court offensively and defensively for an extended period of time, there is no doubt that his role has drastically changed for the Owls this season compared to prior years.
Last season, Dingle’s role on the team was different each game. Therefore, it was hard to actually assess how well he could run an offense or guard a man straight up for an entire game, but he did show glimpses of his ability to step up and take over games. The game that stands out in particular in the minds of many Temple fans and for Dingle himself was last season’s come-from-behind victory against the University of Connecticut on February 2nd. With Temple trailing by double digits and five minutes left to play, Dingle was able to hit three clutch three pointers to keep the Owls in the contest.
“I feel like UConn was my best game. Just [because of] the energy in the building and the confidence in my teammates for me to make threes and step up,” Dingle said after being asked if the 21point performance against La Salle was his best game at Temple. “Last year, my role varied each game, so I didn’t know what my role would be, but UConn is probably the game that I remember the most.”
Though that UConn game was full of energy, emotion, drama and late game heroics, Dingle’s play in this year’s season opener truly showcased his all around potential. Not only did Dingle have a career high in points and minutes, but he also dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds as well. The redshirt senior shot 7-for-11 overall, 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and drained 4-of-5 shots from the free throw line. Dingle did all that, while checking La Salle’s premier scorer, Jordan Price, for the entirety of the game. By the end, Dingle added three steals to his stat sheet stuffing performance.
“Coach [Dunphy] trusts me. This is my fifth year. I know the ins-and-outs of the program, so definitely my confidence is higher,” Dingle said of his new leadership role after the La Salle victory. “Getting the opportunity...I think it’s my turn to help the young guys.”
Helping the ‘young guys’ is exactly what Dingle did according to sophomore guard Shizz Alston Jr., who had a game and career high six assists. As a sophomore, Alston said that, “playing with Obi and Dan made it easy tonight..hitting shots...they made it real easy to be a point guard.”
Temple head coach, Fran Dunphy, was thoroughly pleased with Dingle’s output during the game, commending his all around effort on both sides of the basketball, as well as in the huddle.
“I thought Dan was terrific tonight, in a lot of different ways,” Dunphy said. “He carried us for a large part of the game...Dan’s a good leader, a great guy and I’m very happy for him.”
It is still very early in the season, but if Dingle is able to consistently put up points, find ways to get his teammates easy baskets, and defend the opposing team's best player, he may be one of the best two way players Temple has ever seen.
Photo: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports