By Brian McInnis
Well, the harrowing eligibility tale of Aaron Valdes seems to have met some resolution. UH coach Gib Arnold said after practice on Thursday that the freshman wing will redshirt this season, regardless of any possible last-second 180 by the NCAA on his eligibility for the 2012-13 season.
The hope for UH is, after staying in the academic system for a full year, he will be eligible next season without having expended a year of eligibility.
This all might sound disappointing for UH fans, but keep in mind Valdes was a strong redshirt candidate regardless of the NCAA's call; this just means he still likely will be unable to practice with the team in the meantime.
The fact that he put on a pretty entertaining show in the Ohana Hoopfest dunk contest (a runner-up finish to Garrett Jefferson) probably makes it a little tougher to swallow.
The season-opening exhibition vs. Hawaii Pacific is nearly upon us, raising the question of who else might be redshirting. Arnold has said anywhere between two and four players may sit out games this year.
However, standard redshirt candidates can play in exhibition games safely without worrying about their redshirt status. Besides Valdes, the most logical candidate at this point for a redshirt is freshman center Caleb Dressler, who's been a scout teamer in the preseason.
It's not a done deal, but should Dressler redshirt, it makes sense. He's playing behind a pretty stacked frontcourt of Vander Joaquim, Christian Standhardinger, Isaac Fotu and Davis Rozitis. Any chance that he doesn't redshirt probably hinges on how much time Joaquim will miss in the early portion of the nonconference schedule. As it is, the Angolan is probably out for the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic. Any more than that, and Dressler's chances of getting in a game go up.