Ohio University men’s basketball coach Jim Christian confirmed Monday that D.J. Wingfield’s role as a player for the Bobcats is never going to materialize.
Wingfield, a 6-foot-4 wing from the Cincinnati area, has been medically disqualified, Christian said. The DQ is the result of a knee injury that never progressed following off-season surgery lsat summer.
Christian said Ohio will honor the scholarship for Wingfield, which means he can continue his education at Ohio without additional cost, but the Bobcats will regain an open scholarship for the 2014-15 season. Ohio has two open scholarships for next season.
Wingfield, who who shined on Cincinnati Country Day (2009-10), Lockland (2010-12) and Walnut Hills (2012-13) high schools in the Cincy area, was to be the shooting guard of the future for Ohio. The 19-year old chose Ohio over offers from Ball State, Kent State, Akron and Bowling Green.
Wingfield was a four-time Cincinnati All-City and All-District player. The talented wing was also a first team All-State player his first three seasons and earned second-team honors his senior year.
Wingfield received the latest medical news late this season, just prior to Ohio’s run in the Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland. He had surgery on his knee last summer, endured months of rehab, played some in Ohio’s exhibition game at the start of year, and practiced with the team for a majority of the year.
“It was out of the blue. I wasn’t ready for it. He wasn’t ready for it. It just happened,” Christian said.
The thought was to redshirt Wingfield this season, let him work his way back from the injury and be ready to go for next season. But Wingfield’s knee never fully healed, or responded, after the surgery.
“The doctor just said the surgery never took. There were particles in there,” Christian said. “He just said he’s not going to be able to do it.”
Ohio is losing five seniors, and now a sixth player due to medical reasons. The Bobcats have four player signed to join the roster next season. Christian it’s no secret what Ohio will be targeting this spring on the recruiting circuit.
“So we have to try to look at wings if we can. But we have to have a point guard, no question about it. We’ve been recruiting point guards all year,” the coach said. “Whether that be a high school point guard or a transfer point guard for the following year, it’s debatable. They’re case-by-case situations.
“We’re trying to satisfy needs with the best player we can get, who fits what we’re trying to do.”