University of Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz has three major contributors returning from injury. One of those is Shawnta' Dyer, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 11th game of last season. Dyer is back and Cardinal Authority has an update.
University of Louisville junior Shawnta' Dyer suffered a devastating knee injury last season, tearing her ACL and MCL in the 11th game of the season, which forced her to have surgery and miss the remainder of the season.
“I was hurt my freshman year and that was the reason why I redshirted, but it wasn't as drastic as an ACL injury,” Dyer said. “It's hard to get back from, but luckily I had my teammates who kept me up whenever I lost faith and felt like I couldn't do it anymore.”
The rehabilitation for the knee injury was tough and at times Dyer said was mentally taxing, but she's now glad that she stuck with it. She had 14 points and five rebounds in 17 minutes of play during the Pikeville exhibition game and six points and five rebounds in the 101-54 opener against Loyola (Chicago).
“The recovery process was pretty long and the rehab was pretty intense, just because it was pretty much the same exercise everyday so it was really repetitive,” Dyer said. “The trainers and strength and conditioning coaches tried to switch up the exercises, but there's not really much you can do to build back that quad strength.”
A forward from Marion Ohio, finished her high school career as the all-time leading scorer for Harding High School. She also managed to be a McDonald's All-America nominee, and won the MVP of the Ohio-Kentucky All- Star game in 2010.
After sitting out a season, Dyer averaged 7.3 points and 5.0 rebounds a game for the Cardinals as a sophomore and was a starter last season before she was injured. She was averaging 7.4 points and a team-second best 5.5 rebounds a game.
As a freshman, it didn't take long Dyer to make an impact. She led the team in rebounds as a freshman and managed to score in double digits eight times that season. She recorded he first career double-double against Pittsburgh with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Now, Dyer is back and healthy and ready to roll for the Cardinals.
“I feel like I can bring a low post threat and be able to help the post players out from last year as well,” Dyer said. “Low post defense is something else that I feel like I can bring, so that should be exciting.”
Dyer said it was tough to watch as the Cardinals crashed the party last season, making it to the NCAA title game. But she was there as a cheerleader for her team.
“It was definitely hard from both perspectives, in that I got to watch them struggle which was hard and I got to watch them succeed which was just as hard,” Dyer said. “I was happy and excited for them, but at the same time I wish I was out there as well.”
With the added depth, Dyer knows she will have to work her way back into the minutes she was getting before the injury.
“Coach always preaches to us about how we have a starting 10, you know most teams have a starting five, but with us anybody can go out there and play,” Dyer said. “That's the one thing good thing about our team is if we get in foul trouble or somebody gets tired, Coach can throw anybody out there.”