Wichita State grabbed one of the best inside scorers available with the recent commitment by junior-college forward Darius Carter, a first-team NJCAA All-American.
“They’re losing Carl Hall and I can see Darius in that spot and doing very good things,” Vincennes (Ind.) University coach Todd Franklin said. “Just about every league in the country was recruiting him pretty hard.”
Carter, 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, averaged 15.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for the Trailblazers. He made 54.4 percent of his shots and 59.6 percent of his foul shots.
“His best basketball is in front of him,” Franklin said. “Physically, it’s all starting to come together. He will get a lot bigger.”
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Carter, from Akron, Ohio, averaged 19.5 points in four games in the NJCAA Tournament in Hutchinson to earn a spot on the all-tournament team. Vincennes (33-4) finished fourth.
“He shoots it well,” Franklin said. “He runs really well. He’s good with his back to the basket. He can score over either shoulder.”
As a freshman, Carter averaged 11.6 points,8.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. While he made 2 of 4 three-pointers in two seasons, Franklin believes Carter can expand his range.
“It just wasn’t something we asked him to do,” he said. “He can do the pick-and-pop. I can see him developing into that.”
Cameron Belden, a scout for Mullen Sports scouting service, watched Carter in Hutchinson. He also saw him at the service’s summer camp, the camp where WSU coaches found current Shocker Cleanthony Early. Belden called Carter and Cameron Forte of Howard (Texas) College the top two interior scorers he watched in the junior colleges.
“He’s pretty darn skilled,” Belden said. “He can step out and hit 15-foot jumpers. He plays very hard. He rebounds it well.”
Carter attended Firestone High in Akron, where he averaged around 23 points and 14 rebounds as a senior, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
According to jucorecruiting.com, schools such as Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Bradley, Illinois State, Murray State and Southern Illinois recruited Carter. Franklin declined to be specific about schools on Carter’s list. He said schools from the Big 12, SEC and Big East showed interest.
Carter must graduate from junior college in order to be eligible at WSU.
“He should get that done in the spring,” Franklin said. “He’s got to pass the classes he is in. If he does that, he should be good to go.”
He can sign with WSU beginning April 17. Until then, his oral commitment is non-binding.
Carter joins four players who signed with WSU in November — center Shaq Morris of Edmond (Okla.) Memorial, Chipola (Fla.) College forward Earl Watson and guards Ria’n Holland of South View (N.C) and D.J. Bowles of Oldsmar Christian (Fla.).