Local college notebook: UD’s Carter happy he stayed put

Eric Carter. UD sports information

Clearly, this was a difficult moment for Eric Carter.

The Delaware senior center had just played his last home basketball game.

Carter’s eyes were red from the tears and his voiced was choked up as he spoke last Saturday.

“This school is so special to me,” he said quietly.

That’s why it’s so hard to imagine Carter was close to leaving Newark just a couple years ago.

When Monte Ross was dismissed as the Blue Hens’ coach, Carter — a 6-foot-9 freshman at the time — seriously thought about transferring.

But now it’s difficult to imagine Delaware without Carter in the middle. On Thursday the senior was named to the second team all-Colonial Athletic Association squad after averaging 16.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.

Carter’s career will probably end in the next few days at the CAA Tournament in Charleston, S.C. The fifth-seeded Hens (16-15) will face No. 4 William & Mary on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the CAA quarterfinals — with the likely prospect of taking on top-seeded Hofstra if they win.

If Martin Ingelsby hadn’t been named UD’s head coach three years ago, Carter said he would have left.

“This program was in turmoil,” Carter said after Delaware lost to Hofstra last Saturday. “We didn’t know what was happening. Coach Ingelsby came in and completely changed the culture.

“And I trusted him. That’s who I wanted from the start. I pushed for him because I knew what he could help us accomplish. We’re not done. We play another day.

“We’ve got a lot of time left to do something special.”

After starting the season with a big 29-point performance in the season opener at Maryland, Carter has been a mainstay for Delaware this winter. He’s scored in double figures in all but four games this season with 12 double-doubles in points and rebounds.

For his career, Carter is sixth on the Hens’ all-time rebounds list (803) and 29th in scoring (1,062).

Carter knew about Ingelsby through his AAU coach during high school.

“It was the right fit for him to stick it out,” said Ingelsby. “And I couldn’t be more proud of his development and what he’s become in our program. He’s been a guy who’s been a great leader, he’s been a strong voice this year.

“He’s a guy whose just worked his tail off to be one of the best big guys in our league. And he’s there every day. He really invests in his ability to be a better basketball player.

“It’s emotion night because I think he cares about this place,” Ingelsby said on Senior Day. “He cares about this team. He wants to win. He wants to lead this group.”

DSU’s Pollard named MEAC’s Player of the Year

NaJai Pollard has been the brightest spot for Delaware State’s women’s basketball team all season.

NaJai Pollard. DSU sports information

On Friday the Hornets’ senior added MEAC Player of the Year to her long list of accomplishments.

Pollard is the first Hornet to be named the league’s top player since Mandy Clark in 2004.

The MEAC’s top scorer, Pollard is eighth in Division I (22.7 points per game). She leads the conference in field goal percentage (50.1), is second in rebounding (10.3 pg) and fourth in blocks per game (1.9).

In breaking the school records for points in both a season (613) and in a career (1,961), Pollard posted seven 30-point games this season to go along with 15 double-doubles.

Pollard also earned five MEAC Player of the Week and one MEAC Defensive Player of the Week honor this winter. She has received an invitation by the WNBA to participate in its draft combine this spring.

Hornets pairings set

Delaware State’s men’s and women’s basketball teams know who they’ll be playing when the MEAC Tournament gets underway in Norfolk, Va. next week.

The Hornet men are seeded No. 11 and will face No. 6 Savannah State on Monday at 6 p.m.

The DelState women, seeded No. 8, will then play on Tuesday when they square off with No. 9 North Carolina Central at 1 p.m.

Both MEAC championship games are slated for Saturday afternoon in Norfolk.

Notes

• Smyrna High grad Brent Fleetwood, a senior wrestler for North Dakota State, is seeded No. 2 at 125 pounds in this weekend’s Big 12 Tournament. He is 21-3 overall with a 7-0 record in Big 12 duals.

• Also honored by the CAA was Delaware freshman guard Ithiel Horton, who was named to the all-Rookie team. Horton leads all CAA rookies in scoring (12.5), has reached double figures 20 times and leads the Hens with 68 three-pointers.

• Caesar Rodney High grad Delaney Steele has a team-high 18 points (9 goals, 9 assists) so far for the Wilmington University women’s lacrosse team (2-3).

• Delaware Tech swept Rowan-Burlington County in baseball last week.

In the first game, freshman Jordan Haddaway (Delmar) pitched six innings and allowed just one run, while sophomores Luke Wilhelm and Bryan Widdowson (Seaford) each doubled. In the second game, sophomore Ben Hudson pitched six innings and allowed just two hits, while sophomore Dwayne Harmon (Cape Henlopen) had two hits.

• In men’s lacrosse, DelTech fell to 0-2 with a 15-13 loss to Williamson College of Trades. Sophomores Connor Garrett (Dover) and Kolyn Jones (Smyrna) along with freshman Devaughn Williams (Dover), all scored three goals apiece.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

New Delaware College Football and High School Sports Report newsletters are now available.
Visit the newsletters page to subscribe to both!

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.
[fbcomments url="" width="375" count="off" num="3"]