West Virginia Basketball: Carter Playing at High Level


No. 23 West Virginia has had helped from its bench all season long, but one player in particular is starting to stand out above the rest.

Freshman guard Jevon Carter is beginning to blossom. Carter has been quietly putting together a successful freshman season for the Mountaineers.

Prime example came Monday night when the Mountaineers upset No. 8 Kansas in Morgantown. Carter played a significant role in that win. While he didn’t get the glory like his teammate Juwan Staten, who made the game-winning layup, Carter’s efforts cannot be overlooked.

Feb 16, 2015; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard Jevon Carter (2) shoots over Kansas Jayhawks guard Brannen Greene (14) during the first half at the WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia, with fewer than three minutes remaining in the contest, trailed by five points. It was Carter who ignited the comeback.

In two consecutive possessions, Carter hit back-to-back three-pointers to give West Virginia the lead and ultimately prevented Kansas from pulling away late in the game.

“First off I got to give credit to my teammates for setting me up with good passes and screens leading to open shots,” said Carter. “I just dug deep, knock them down and gave my team momentum.”

Indeed the momentum surged after Carter’s two shots. The crowd erupted and the Mountaineers used Carter’s three-pointers as a catalyst to finish the job.

Carter also overcame leg cramps during this game. Several different players for WVU began to wear down during the game, but Carter says you have to overcome these things.

“That’s just called playing hard,” he said. “It’s a long season, doctor told me I got to eat more fruit. Warriors fight through it. They fight through everything. On the shots I was open. I wasn’t focus on my legs, I was just focused on the last play.”

Carter has got the attention of his head coach as well. Head coach Bob Huggins sang Carter’s praise during his post-game conference, saying Carter’s one of a kind.

“Jevon Carter is a special freshman to step up and make the shots that he made, and he made big shots when it was getting away from us,” said Huggins.

Huggins also said that even though Staten hit the game-winning layup, he was looking to Carter for big-time play down the stretch.

“I’m calling plays for him (Carter) and I’m sitting here thinking after I called them, ‘I’ve got the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and I’m calling plays for the freshman.’ But, I just felt like he could make them,” Huggins said.

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Among the young talent on the roster, players like Carter, Daxter Miles Jr., Jaysean Paige and Tarik Phillip — Carter is beginning to distance himself.

Perhaps his performances over the last couple games will garner him a starting spot over Miles? Regardless, starting or not, Carter has become a valuable weapon off the bench and will surely be a commodity for Huggins as the end of the regular season nears.

For a team that struggles to shoot the ball well, (41 percent on the year) Carter’s shot may be the best on the team. West Virginia has no pure shooter or scorer, but Carter may be stepping into that role of shooter.

Carter has catapulted himself into the team’s third leading scorer on the season. He’s averaging 8.3 points per game, but seems to have a knack for connecting on “crucial shots.”

Bench production has been terrific for West Virginia all season and if more guys can follow Carter’s lead, this team will become more dangerous.