(Logan Riely/WOUB)

Reigning MAC Player of the Year Campbell Done for Year

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Antonio Campbell’s season is over.

His career as an Ohio Bobcat has come to a close, head coach Saul Phillips announced after practice on Thursday.

On Monday, Phillips said it his foot was not broken but further testing revealed it is.

“It wasn’t getting better so we went back and did a follow up MRI,” Phillips said. “We followed the protocol you’d always find. X-Rays came up negative, further testing with the MRI revealed [it was broken].”

Campbell started 14 of 16 games for the Bobcats this year. He was averaging 16.4 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game while shooting 53 percent from the field. He got hurt three minutes into the game on Jan. 14 against Eastern Michigan.

Last year, Campbell averaged a double-double, 17.1 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game and won the 2016 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year.

Campbell will go down as one of the best to wear an Ohio Bobcat jersey. He is one of seven Bobcats to win MAC Player of the Year and the first since DJ Cooper in 2013. Campbell had 32 double-doubles and averaged 11.1 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game for his career.

Campbell’s best game of his career came Feb. 16, 2016 against Eastern Michigan when he scored 33 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, both career highs.

Campbell will have season ending surgery next week, head coach Saul Phillip said.

On the court however, life will go on. Ohio (11-5, 3-2) will need sophomore Doug Taylor and true freshman Jason Carter to grow up quickly and provide big minutes the rest of the season.

“I sent both of those guys a text message this morning and told them it’s time to grow up. It’s time to be grown men, a little earlier than expected with Tony being out but they both said they’re up for the challenge,” Jaaron Simmons said.

The feeling around the league and among fans will undoubtedly be that Ohio is done and can’t win the conference. But don’t tell the team that.

“That’s what y’all think. That’s what y’all say. We don’t think like that. We don’t think like we just lost the MAC Player of the Year. We just think next man up. It’s still five against five, man to man we just playing basketball,” Simmons said.

Phillips said the same thing as his point guard.

“I get the sentiment around the league will be ‘there goes Ohio.’ There isn’t a part of me that will let myself or anybody on this team believe that. Our job is to get better and learn to play with the new reality of not having Tony,” Phillips said.

Ohio knew one day they would have to play without Campbell. One day, life without Tony would come. They just hoped it would be next October. Not this January.

“It’s a tough loss for us but like coach Phillips said we’re here ready to battle through adversity. I still think we got the best team in the MAC confidently,” sophomore Jordan Dartis said. “I know Tony is going to support. Hopefully the whole Ohio Bobcat fans are going to support. I think it’ll be great. We’ll be fine.”

The Bobcats are beck in action Saturday at Northern Illinois. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. ET.