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WC East's Andrew Carr making noise at Delaware

03/08/2022, 9:45am EST
By Matthew Ryan

Matthew Ryan (@matthewryan02)

With under eight minutes to go and Delaware’s lead over Drexel in a CAA quarterfinal contest down to three, Andrew Carr stepped to the line for a pair of free throws.

The 6-foot-9 forward buried both of them, stopping a big Drexel run. They were the two biggest points of Carr’s 13 on the day as Delaware topped the Dragons to advance to the semifinals of the CAA tournament. He followed up that performance with a six-point, 11-rebound outing on Monday night as his fifth seeded Blue Hens defeated top seed Towson, 69-56, making it to the CAA tournament championship game where they will face second seeded UNCW on Tuesday.

Now one win away from an NCAA Tournament berth, the West Chester East product has become a key piece for a team trying to make it to March Madness for just the second time in the 21st century.

Andrew Carr (above) has played in 47 games with 42 starts in his first two years at Delaware. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

But, much like anyone else who entered college basketball last season, Carr’s start at the next level has had its fair share of adversity. When he entered his freshman season at Delaware in 2020, the world was anything but normal. The COVID-19 pandemic had a chokehold on the entire United States, affecting everybody and everything.

Due to the nature of the pandemic, Carr and his teammates had to stay at home over the summer rather than on campus.

During this time, however, Carr navigated the situation with the company of his teammate Gianmarco Arletti, an Italy native who was staying at Carr’s house in West Chester. The two made the hour-long drive to Delaware’s campus around three times a week to get in the gym with the program.

It’s one example of the type of adaptation that went into competing in the 2020-21 college basketball season. The Blue Hens dealt with the postponed of games, COVID pauses within the program and players such as Carr having to go just from his apartment to the gym, without much in between.

“It was really kind of difficult with COVID, especially at first,” Carr said following his team’s victory over Drexel. “You build that chemistry and everything in summer and in the fall with your teammates, with your coaches and everything. So [we] didn’t really have that last year and we kind of got into the season, a bunch of games canceled and everything like that, so it definitely was a bit of a difficult year.”

Despite the difficulties and constant change around Delaware and college basketball as a whole, Carr still managed to put together a nice debut season. He played in 15 games, starting 10 of them, and averaged 8.2 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 44.9% from the field and 81.8% from the free throw line.

As time progressed, the pandemic’s effect on the world mostly simmered, and the change from his freshman to sophomore year was apparent.

Carr (above, dunking) has topped out at 21 points and 12 rebounds in a game this year, with 14 double-digit scoring outings. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

“It’s been totally different,” Carr said. “We were able to come and live here in the summer and everything, kind of grow a great bond with my team, and I love all of those guys that I’m playing with right now, and it’s been really special.”

Carr is now a full-time starter for Martin Ingelsby’s squad and has enjoyed a solid season, averaging 9.7 ppg and 5.0 rpg and 1.1 blocks per game, while shooting 54.5% from the field.

Growing up, Carr didn’t always have the height he currently possesses, and because of that, was forced to learn how to play on the outside. He was a decent 3-point shooter in high school, but as a freshman at Delaware shot 28.6% (8-of-28) from deep. This season, though, his percentage has improved to 39% on 16-for-41 shooting, nicely complementing his interior game.

“The college line has been an adjustment,” Carr said. “But I think I’m really confident in my shot right now and all the work that I’ve been able to put in with coach Bill Phillips and everything is going in the right direction.”

“He’s an extremely hard worker. He’s in the gym all the time,” Ingelsby said. “I think our assistants have done a great job helping him develop. And he’s gotten stronger; he’s gotten more physical. He gives you an inside-outside dimension with what he’s able to do around the basket and then stepping out and being able to shoot from the perimeter.”

Carr and Delaware will play in the CAA championship on Monday night against UNC-Wilmington. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

At East, Carr was a three-year starter and first-team all-state member as a senior. That season, the big man led his squad to a District 1 5A title and a spot in the state playoffs. He made a big impact on the program and is continuing to make his mark at the college level.

“He has led the way for our East program setting the example and paving the way for our back-to-back-to-back Ches-Mont league champions status and winning districts, and playing in states,” West Chester East head coach Tom Durant said over text. “He continues to represent his total impact as a player in college at Delaware.”

Although this is just his second season at Delaware, Carr has been connected to the university since he was a kid. Andrew’s father, Philip Carr, and uncle, Tim Carr, both played for the Blue Hens, finishing their careers in 1987 and 1983, respectively.

Philip played a small role in his time at Delaware, averaging just 1.8 ppg while Tim was a 13.8 ppg scorer as a senior.

When it came time to make his college decision, Carr said the fact that his family is connected to the university wasn’t the deciding factor but rather the cherry on top.

“I fell in love with the school first, and then that kind of was just a positive,” Andrew said. “[...] Definitely had something to do with that, [I] love being able to come and carry on the name and everything but definitely wasn’t the sole reason.”

Through a pandemic-affected freshman season to things returning to normalcy in his sophomore year, Carr has navigated it all. But in terms of on-court production, there’s still more on the horizon.

Just ask Ingelsby.

“The sky’s the limit for how good he can be as a basketball player,” he said.

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