Guard Sterling Carter will one day play basketball again.
It just won't be for the Purdue Boilermakers.
The fifth-year senior transfer's college career is over after tearing his ACL along with his medial and lateral meniscus, all in his right knee, against Nebraska on Sunday. He was hurt while driving into the lane during the second half.
Carter had come on strong down the stretch. He had started the last five games, mostly because of his aggressive defense and high energy level. He averaged 4.8 points and was second on the team with 25 steals.
Carter also was starting to make a bigger impact offensively. His 19 points, including 5-for-6 three-point shooting, was huge in Purdue's win over Indiana. He also had 10 points and six assists in the triple overtime win over Minnesota, plus 13 points and four steals in a victory over Rider.
"I think Sterling has given us some energy," Painter said. "The Indiana game, he knocked down some shots. That was something we thought he'd consistently do for us and he hasn't. He's had a couple games where he's knocked them down.
“But he was bringing us energy and defending. He's been our best defensive guard. He's been the most diligent defender on our team, and that wasn't something we thought about when he came here. We've really had some guys with experience struggling defending people in our league, and he's done the best job.”
Carter joined the Boilers after leaving Seattle University. He was signed because of his three-point shooting prowess (he had averaged 13.8 points as a freshman and 10.1 points as a sophomore), but he had struggled with that for most of this season. Still, his 28 three-pointers rank third on the team.
“We are obviously disappointed for Sterling and really feel for him,” Painter said in a university release. “It's very unfortunate to see his collegiate career end like this. Sterling gave all he had for the program this year and did everything we asked of him since his arrival last summer.”
The Boilermakers will host Michigan on Wednesday night. Without Carter, a pair of Fort Wayne guards, sophomore Rapheal Davis and freshman Bryson Scott, could see more action.