BYU’s basketball team suffered a blow as junior forward Gavin Baxter will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
Mark Pope tells me in our pregame interview that Gavin Baxter suffered a season-ending ACL injury Thursday v. New Orleans.— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) November 29, 2020
Coach Pope plans to replace Baxter in the starting lineup with either Caleb Lohner or Matt Haarms, depending in part on how Haarms (ankle) looks in warmups.
Baxter played in just seven games last season after a shoulder injury right before the season sidelined him for the majority of the year. He started in BYU’s first two games this year and suffered the knee injury when he banged knees with a New Orleans player.
Baxter is one of BYU’s most athletic players and was expected to take a big step forward this year. Losing him is no doubt a blow, but BYU fortunately has a more front court depth this year compared to prior years. 6-foot-8 freshman forward Caleb Lohner will be asked to take a much bigger role and likely play more at the 4 spot than coaches initially planned. Lohner has the size to play the 4 spot and has the shooting and athleticism to spread the floor and present mismatches for opponents. Other BYU big men include Matt Haarms, Kolby Lee, Richard Harward, Wyatt Lowell, and potentially Gideon George.
This year does not count against any player’s eligibility, so Gavin will be a junior once again next season. Here’s to a full and quick recovery for Gavin!