Dewayne Dedmon showed up to Saturday’s USC-Minnesota game wearing a boot on his right foot.
As of Tuesday, a stress injury to that appendage was supposed to keep USC’s promising 7-foot sophomore center out four to six weeks.
Yet even though Dedmon didn’t think he’d play against the Gophers, he started and played 25 minutes in USC’s 55-40 loss at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
“I felt all right,” Dedmon said by phone. “I’m not 100%.”
Dedmon scored just two points, grabbed four rebounds and wasn’t much of a factor in the game for USC (4-5), which scored its second-fewest points this season.
USC shot just 32.7% (16 for 49).
“We just couldn’t score,” USC Coach Kevin O’Neill said by phone. “If you told me we’d only give up 55 points and have [only] 12 turnovers, I thought we were going to win.”
Guard Maurice Jones scored 14 to lead USC, but he received little help.
Minnesota (8-1) ended the first half on a 12-1 run and cruised to an easy win. The Gophers had three players score in double figures, led by Julian Welch, who had 16 points.
USC team trainer David Borchardt said by phone that a morning assessment indicated Dedmon’s foot had improved. USC coaches learned about 30 minutes before tipoff that he would be able to play.
“It was completely our medical staff’s decision,” O’Neill said.
Borchardt said Dedmon is “game to game” in terms of his availability.
Dedmon said he expects to play in USC’s next game when it plays host to New Mexico on Saturday at the Galen Center.
Holmes reported from Los Angeles.