A lot of things click for Three Rivers (Mo.) Community College guard Marquise Carter when he thinks about playing basketball at Wichita State.
He likes the coaches. He visited WSU last fall and likes the players. WSU recruited him earlier than most of his of pursuers, and he thinks the Shockers are going to win big. Most important, he knows the Shockers need a point guard.
"I really saw myself fitting in," he said. "I've built a good relationship."
With all that said, Carter hasn't made a decision on where he will play after his sophomore season. WSU is at the top of his list, but he is looking at other options until the signing period begins in April. He said Gonzaga is talking. Schools such as LSU, Baylor and Texas A&M are also in contact.
Carter could turn out to be the answer for WSU's point guard questions for 2010-11. Coach Gregg Marshall stopped by Poplar Bluff earlier this month to watch Carter and WSU signee Ehimen Orukpe. WSU loses one player from this season's team — point guard Clevin Hannah. Freshman backup Demetric Williams has yet to prove he can step in next season and direct a team with enormous potential.
Carter watches enough WSU games to understand Hannah's importance. He says they are similar players, although Hannah is a better shooter and Carter is about five inches taller.
"I feel that I can help the team just like he is," Carter said.
Carter, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from San Diego, averages 17.6 points, 5.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds. He makes 87 percent of his free throws — definitely Hannah-like — and gets to the line almost twice as often as any teammate by driving to the basket. He averages 7.4 free throws a game.
"Carter's the key to their team, he's 85 percent of their offense," Highland (Ill.) Community College coach Ronnie Dean told the Freeport (Ill.) Journal-Standard. "He doesn't shoot a lot of threes, but he's very good in the paint."
As a freshman, Carter averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 assists on his way to Region XVI Player of the Year honors.
While he looks at college options, Carter is focused on getting Three Rivers to Hutchinson for the national tournament. He loves playing for coach Gene Bess, one of the juco game's biggest names. The Pirates were 18-5 and ranked No. 25 entering Saturday's game against State Fair (Mo.) Community College.
"I'm playing for one of the best coaches ever," he said.
Orukpe's return from an injury can only help. Carter said his 7-foot teammate is improving his scoring around the rim and his offensive footwork.
"He's just a big factor down low," Carter said. "When he got back, he looked better."
Hatch recognized — WSU junior Graham Hatch earned Academic All-District VII honors.
Hatch, from Mesa, Ariz., carries a 3.73 grade-point average in chemistry. He averages 9.3 points and 3.9 rebounds as a starting guard.
Drake's Adam Templeton and Kansas center Cole Aldrich were also named to the team. The All-American team will be announced on Feb. 24.
Those two aren't the only MVC players recognized for the off-the-court accomplishments. Drake's Josh Young is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for basketball. Athletes are chosed based on grades, character, community service and basketball skills.
Tee times — WSU's men's golf begins its attempt to return to an NCAA Regional on Monday in the Texas-San Antonio Oak Hills Classic.
The Shockers won the Wolfpack Classic and finished in the top three in four of their five fall tournaments. Senior Dustin Garza won medalist honors in four of those events.
The women's golf team opens the season on Feb. 21 at the Kiawah Spring Invitational at Kiawah Island, S.C.
* The men's team will hold its Cessna Wichita State Men's Golf Fundraiser Tournament on April 12 at Willowbend Golf Club.
Cost for the four-person scramble is $150 per player. For information, call 978-3362.