Sometimes bad things just happen to good people.
Team sources announced on Tuesday that senior forward Bray Skultety of the UCSB men’s basketball team will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Dr. Richard Ryu confirmed that Skultety’s damaged knee is a re-tear of the torn ACL that he suffered in late 2002.
Skultety suffered the injury after falling awkwardly on his leg in the second half of Santa Barbara’s victory over Cal Poly on Saturday night at the Thunderdome. After elevating for an attempted put-back, the sixth-year senior landed hard underneath the basket. Immediately grabbing his knee in obvious pain, Skultety even motioned over to the UCSB bench and signaled to the trainers and coaching staff that serious damage had occurred in his knee. UCSB Head Athletic Trainer Leroy Heu huddled next to Skultety for nearly three minutes before teammates helped Skultety to the locker room. After the game and fully realizing the extent of Skultety’s prior injury, UCSB Head Coach Bob Williams hoped that his initial worries were wrong about his hardest working player.
“We’re all keeping our fingers crossed and giving our prayers,” Williams said.
Skultety didn’t play high school basketball after his freshman year and walked-on to Williams’ squad in the 2000-01 campaign but did not see any playing time. The following season, Skultety emerged as a valuable front-court reserve for the Gauchos’ run to the Big West Tournament title and UCSB’s appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In fact, Skultety posted a career-high three blocked shots in Santa Barbara’s loss to the University of Arizona.
Skultety was expected to earn the starting spot at center last season but suffered a season-ending knee injury in preseason practice to the same knee injured on Saturday. Late last year, however, the NCAA awarded Skultety with a sixth year of eligibility for this season. Although a reserve this year, Skultety blossomed into one of the most consistent post players for Santa Barbara. Bulking up to 230 pounds, he expanded his offensive game and, in limited minutes, should certainly be considered a candidate for UCSB’s top rebounder.
Averaging just 12.2 minutes per contest, Skultety was fourth on the squad with 4.1 rebounds per game and led the Gauchos with 35 offensive boards. Prior to Skultety’s injury, Santa Barbara arguably posted the deepest front court in the Big West. Freshman forward Glenn Turner may see added minutes with Skultety out of commission.