Junior forward Gavin Baxter sustained a season-ending knee injury in BYU’s win over New Orleans on Thursday and will undergo surgery soon, BYU basketball coach Mark Pope said Saturday night before the Cougars hosted Utah Valley at the Marriott Center.
Pope told the BYU Radio Network that either freshman Caleb Lohner or Purdue transfer Matt Haarms would replace Baxter in the starting lineup.
The injury comes as another devastating blow to Baxter’s career. The Timpview High product suffered a shoulder injury just before the 2019-20 season and was sidelined for most of the season.
He played in just seven games before the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly ended the Cougars’ season before an expected berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Baxter started in BYU’s first two games this season, wins over Westminster College of Salt Lake City and New Orleans.
Because he has played less than a third of the games this season, and also because the NCAA is granting all student-athletes a free year of eligibility due to the pandemic, Baxter can return as a junior again next year.
Other inside players on BYU’s roster include Kolby Lee, Richard Harward, Wyatt Lowell and Gideon George.
Baxter was averaging 14 minutes, 6.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game through two games.