Carroll College junior forward Oliver Carr’s season is over.
An MRI revealed an ACL tear in the former Frontier Freshman of the Year’s right knee on Wednesday, a night after Carr exited Carroll’s loss to Western and did not return, “which is a total freaking bummer,” Saints coach Carson Cunningham said.
“It’s tough time to go down, especially with our season,” Carr said. The Saints are 21-4 and sitting atop the Frontier Conference standings.
Carr had put some early second half work in for the Saints on Tuesday, scoring on a pair of layups off nifty cuts to get the offense moving. That momentum changed in an instant.
Carr looked to corral an offensive rebound and contacted a forward from Western. Another Western player “slammed into my knee,” Carr said, and, “my leg had nowhere to go and it just buckled.”
He was the Saints’ fourth-leading scorer, averaging 9.5 points per game to go along with 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest. Carr had been instrumental in lifting the team over a talented Lewis-Clark State squad when the Saints went to overtime without their three leading scorers.
Once Carr exited the game on Tuesday night, the Saints were a different team.
Carr filled a variety of roles for the Saints, stepping in as a starter 16 times this season, or usually coming off the bench first. On nights when opponents looked to stagger the Saints’ post threat of Imhoff, Carr provided another scoring outlet off the block, typically finding his shot against one-on-one coverage. His offensive awareness allow him to be a capable passer and for him to find open space on the court.
The injury will leave the Saints without their third- and fourth-leading scorer, as Match Burnham continues to work himself back from a right wrist injury. Burnham is likely out through the end of conference play and possibly until NAIA tournament time.
Carr anticipates helping the team in any capacity he can for the rest of the season.