Duquesne freshman forward Austin Rotroff will miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury, Dukes head coach Keith Dambrot said after practice on Friday.
Rotroff, a 6-foot-10 forward from Wauseon, Ohio, was injured during the first half of Wednesday’s win over Saint Louis, when he fell awkwardly and was seen grabbing his left knee.
“It’s unfortunate,” Dambrot said. “He’s a great person and he’s going to be a really, really good player. It’s a tough loss for us, but most importantly, I feel bad for him. He’s got a long road ahead.”
In 19 games (five starts), Rotroff scored 70 points, grabbed 46 rebonds and had 10 blocks for the Dukes this season. He shot 53.8 percent from the floor — third on the team — and 42.9 percent from 3-point range to pace the club.
Rotroff has primarily come off the bench at the four or five spot, and his absence will open playing time for fellow freshmen Amari Kelly and Gavin Bizeau, while putting additional pressure on sophomore starters Marcus Weathers and Mike Hughes.
“For every negative thing that occurs, something positive happens for someone else and an opportunity happens for them,” Dambrot said. “We’ll see if I’m a decent prognosticator or not. I thought Bizeau could play. I’ve said it all along. I’ve had trouble getting him into the game. He’s got some things he has to work on. And then Amari can play better. He gives you some different things that Austin does. We just have to step up.”
Duquesne will play its first full game without Rotroff on Saturday, when the Dukes host VCU at A.J. Palumbo Center. That game will tip off at 2 p.m.