Obviously, a serious addition for MSU. I don’t think he’s a future All Big Ten guy or even necessarily a starter (though I wouldn’t *completely* rule that out) but he adds a few elements this team really needed heading into next season, not least of which is simply more frontcourt depth. The loss of Deyonta Davis obviously caught MSU a man short in their frontcourt rotation (as did the transfers, though those were things I think MSU was fine with in the end), so just having a guy capable of giving you 18-20 decent minutes a game matters. If Carter is 100% healthy by November, I think he could give MSU a bit more than “decent,” though.
Carter played his HS ball in Las Vegas at Bishop Gorman, a long standing basketball power in that area. He was a solid recruit…kind of a borderline top 100 guy…who ended up at Oregon over schools like Utah, UNLV, Arizona State, USC and San Diego State. So, not a superstar level recruit but a guy who was well regarded and had at least those few Pac 12 offers. Carter didn’t have a huge role at Oregon…averaged about 10 mpg as a freshman and around 13 mpg as a sophomore. He did have one incident there…he was suspended for 9 games along with Dominic Artis for selling some team gear. Not smart certainly, but in the greater scheme of things (as we’ve all seen with some MSU alums this year), there are worse things to be accused of doing.
He transfered back home to UNLV due to disatisfaction with playing almost exclusively at center and playing time concerns. He sat out a year and played for Vegas last season before seeing his season come to a premature end due to an ACL injury. He played in 22 games, starting 7, and averaged 8.6 ppg, 6 rpg and 1.4 blocks per contest in about 24 mpg. I read a piece the other day that walked through what he did against the higher level comp Vegas played in the preseason, when he was still healthy. I saw him in those games as well, the ones they played in Maui, and I was impressed.
What I think he adds is some defensive versatility, some toughness and reportedly some leadership, according to Vegas people I’ve read. MSU could use all of those things, along with his size at 6’9″ 225. If healthy, he struck me as a decently athletic and mobile kid who can play some 4 and probably will also see at least some minutes at the 5 for MSU. He’s no DD but 1.4 bpg is a big number, so expect that he’ll be able to give MSU a rim protector, which will be a nice element to have in a game where there’s an ever increasing emphasis on being able to handle penetration that way rather than with physical perimeter defense. He’s not a three point threat but I recall seeing him hit some midrange stuff, so I think he can help MSU offensively as well, though I don’t expect huge scoring numbers.
Overall, this is about as strong an addition as MSU could have hoped to make at this stage in the year. I think he matters enough, even without being a star, to give MSU enough pieces to be able to think itself a legitimate Big Ten title contender now.