Lutheran senior emerges in final season

Lutheran's Reilly Carew has emerged as a top player this season, averaging 20.8 points a game for the Lions.

What a difference a year makes.

Reilly Carew came off the bench in his first season as a varsity player last year for Lutheran and averaged 7.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists a game.

This year, the 6-foot-3 senior has emerged as the go-to player for the Lions. He has developed from a player that drew no attention from colleges to one that is drawing interest from as many as six Division II basketball programs.

“From his junior to his senior year he's improved more dramatically than any player I've had in 10 years,” said Lutheran coach Ryan Bredow. “His improvement has been phenomenal.”

Carew is averaging 20.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists a game for the Lions, who are ranked fourth in the Class 2A poll.

“My scoring is up from last year,” acknowledged Reilly. “I'm not sure why, but I guess it is just (because I'm) stepping up to help the team anyway that I can. I worked pretty hard in the offseason over the summer. I was in the gym pretty much every day so I think it was a lot of hard work.”

In the past six games, Carew has been terrific, scoring a total of 143 points for an average of 23.8 points per game.

“I've told the players that the definition of a great player is that he makes everybody else on the floor better,” said Bredow. “That's been the impact of Reilly this year. His impact on the game has elevated the play of those around him.

“We've been seeing him play impact minutes on the defensive end of the floor, he's a much improved ball handler and he can flat out score. His scoring has come from all over, he's getting to the line, he's getting to the rim and he's always been an excellent 3-point shooter.”

Carew played football at Lutheran as a freshman and sophomore before making the decision to solely concentrate on basketball.

“He's close with the other players on the team,” explained Bredow. “It's like big brother, little brother. They enjoy challenging Reilly, challenging him to expand different avenues of his game. As evidenced by how hard he's worked in the weight room, he's welcomed that challenge.”

Carew's biggest challenge is to keep improving.

“I'd like to get more assists and get better at passing the ball,” said Carew. “ I like to score. I'm starting to get keyed on so when somebody steps up I need to get better passing.”

Lutheran is 3-1 in the Metro League after games of Jan. 25 as the lone 2A team competing against eight 3A league teams. The Lions are 7-4 overall and play Jan. 28 at Peak to Peak and at home on Jan. 31 against Faith Christian.

“I know we want a state championship,” said Carew. “We really wanted it last year but came up a little short. We just have to keep playing the way we've been playing and get better every day in practice.”