Croaker suffers season-ending injury

Jenny Rohl/The News

Story by Blake Sandlin, Staff writer

Murray State’s men’s basketball team announced Monday they will be moving forward with the rest of their season without starting senior guard Damarcus Croaker.

Head Coach Matt McMahon said Croaker suffered a fracture to the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during the first play of Saturday night’s game against Eastern Illinois. The injury was first diagnosed on Saturday as a sprained foot, but after further evaluation, it was ruled a break. Croaker will undergo season-ending surgery on his foot on Friday, Feb. 24.

Croaker was averaging 10.5 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game, second only to junior forward Terrell Miller Jr.

McMahon said the loss of Croaker was crushing news for the team.

“Obviously I’m devastated and heartbroken for Damarcus,” McMahon said. “It’s a really sad way to see his playing career end on the first possession of the game on senior night with so many family and friends here to celebrate the night with him.”

McMahon said Croaker was demoralized as a result of his season-ending injury.

“I mean he’s crushed, and rightfully so,” McMahon said. “He’s invested a lot in this, he’s a critical part of our team. You hate to see anyone ever get injured, but with the timing of it with it being senior night, being in the middle of a division race, and so on and so forth.”

Croaker, who is known for his above-the-rim antics, was chosen earlier this month to be on the ballot for the State Farm Dark Horse Dunker competition, an online contest in which fans vote to send one player to the State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships at the NCAA Final Four. Croaker is currently in the lead in his matchup by a score of 68.62-31.38 but there is no word yet as to what will happen as a result of Croaker’s injury.

As for potential lineup changes, McMahon said the upcoming week of practice will determine the new five.

“We’ll have to evaluate it this week in practice,” McMahon said. “Gee [McGhee] will slide into that spot, and as far as substitutions off the bench, we’ll see how the week in practice plays out.”