The Carroll college men’s basketball team is off to a hot start. The saints returned all five starters from last year’s national quarterfinal team. so far, they’ve done it behind a returning junior and true freshman.
Ryan Imhoff has played a big role in Carroll’s success. Twice in the first month of the season the Frontier Conference named him player of the week. The 6-foot-6 junior guard also leads the Saints in scoring, but Coach Carson Cunningham is not surprised.
“We know that he’s capable of a lot and he’s showing everybody,” Cunningham said.
Imhoff credits his scoring surge from the post moves he added over the summer. Now, he can score with his back to the basket and step outside and knock down perimeter jump shots putting pressure on the defense.
“A lot of the strain [on the defense] comes from Zach [Taylor] and Match [Burnham],” Imhoff said. “They open a lot holes up for other guys because Match can stretch the floor and Zach and stretch the floor. Everyone worries about Zach.”
Even as the modest big man deflects, his performance draws attention. Last year, he was one of three sophomores nominated to be an All-American.
“If he continues that rhythm he got last game from the three he’ll be extremely difficult to deal with,” Cunningham said.
The Saints also bolstered their bench by adding Dane Warp. The Harve alum scored at-will in high school and shunned other offers to attend Carroll.
“It’s just a great atmosphere here,” Warp said. “Great academics. Great athletics. The kids her are really driven.”
The 6-foot-4 freshman guard is averaging just over eight points a game, sixth on the team, and he likes not having to be a one-man show like in high school.
“[Ryan Imhoff, Zach Taylor and Olive Carr] can put up a lot of points,” Warp said. “My role doesn’t have to be much of a scorer.”
As Carroll hopes to better last season’s outcome, Warp and Imhoff will play major roles.