Akron native Darius Carter Jr. and the Wichita State University men’s basketball team saw their season come to an end Sunday following a 78-76 loss to Kentucky in the third round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Wichita State ended its season with a 35-1 record. The Shockers set an NCAA record for consecutive wins to start a season with 35 victories.
Carter, a 2011 Firestone High School graduate, played a key role all season for Wichita State. The Shockers finished No. 2 in the final Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Top 25 polls. Florida finished No. 1 in both polls.
Carter averaged 7.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game. He appeared in 35 games with six starts and made 52.4 percent of his shots from the field and 64.1 percent of his free throws.
Coach Gregg Marshall guided the Shockers to Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles.
Carter, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, ends the season as Wichita State’s fifth leading scorer behind senior Cleanthony Early (16.4 points), sophomore Ron Baker (13.1), sophomore Fred VanVleet (11.6) and junior Tekele Cotton (10.3).
Carter was named to the MVC All-Newcomer Team and All-Bench Team.
VanVleet, Early and Baker were All-MVC First-Team selections and Cotton was an All-MVC Second-Team choice.
VanVleet was also named the MVC Larry Bird Player of the Year. He is the fourth different Wichita State player to earn the league’s Player of the Year award, joining Antoine Carr (1983), Xavier McDaniel (1984, 1985) and Paul Miller (2006).