Update: Carter to BC.
BREAKING: Florida transfer Eli Carter will transfer to Boston College. Big get for Jim Christian & staff. Best available 5th year transfer.— Zack Spears (@Zacklopedia) June 22, 2015
As many of you undoubtedly found out via the timeless Twitter stylings of CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, Florida graduate transfer guard Eli Carter will be paying a visit to the Hilltop today.
Florida transfer Eli Carter told @CBSSports he will begin an official visit to Georgetown today. Immediately eligible for next season.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 4, 2015
Carter is one of several Gators who will be skipping town this summer in the wake of
Forrest Gump Billy Donovan's departure for the Oklahoma City Thunder job. A mass exodus after the departure of such a beloved coach is fairly standard, but Carter is unique in that a) this is his third team in five years and b) yeah, I said five years. After playing two seasons at Rutgers, transferring, sitting out with a broken leg and returning for one season at Florida, he's now a graduate transfer and therefore eligible to play immediately. To the scouting report!
Carter is undersized for a scoring guard, at 6'2" and 200 lbs. He played in 28 of the Gators' 33 games last year, starting 17. He averaged 8.8 points in 24.5 minutes a night, chipping in two boards and two assists as well. Those numbers would be fine, except that he shot 36.2% from the field and 30.5% from three while attempting FIVE THREES A GAME. I don't know enough math to show you his advanced stats, but I can't imagine those numbers translate to anything particularly good.
Back at Rutgers, things looked better in the scoring column — he averaged 13.8 points as a freshman and 14.9 as a sophomore in a shade under 30 mpg — but he boasted more turnovers than assists and never shot better than 41% FG.
The numbers alone don't paint a particularly nice picture. Carter is a scoring guard who shoots a lot — including a lot of threes, despite a decidedly mediocre track record from distance. He shot 2-of-14 against Georgetown in the Bahamas last year. Given John Thompson III's share-the-ball approach and the presence of several other offensively talented players on the perimeter, a chucker isn't ideal.
Of course, those of you with sharp memories will recall that Carter can really shoot, sometimes. It took a classic Otto Porter takeover (15 second-half points) to dispatch Rutgers one cold day in February 2013, almost entirely because the then-sophomore Carter had turned into a fire-breathing dragon from long range and dropped 23 of his team's 63 points. The scoring talent was undeniably there.
Is that guy still around? It's hard to say. The Alligator Army story from Carter's original announcement indicates that nagging injuries contributed to a frustratingly inconsistent year, even hinting at rumors that his playing career was over. Still, Carter managed a few solid outings in SEC play, including 22 points against Texas A&M. If he's healthy and not forcing shots, he could be an effective backup in DSR's scoring combo guard role.
Here's 40 seconds or so of him hitting threes last season.
We've heard rumors about Carter considering Georgetown for weeks. While I don't think anyone here is thrilled about his game in particular, it's hard to be genuinely displeased at the prospect of an immediately eligible real live GUARD coming to play next year.
Would most of us rather have Kenny Williams or Nigel Williams-Goss, or even Anton Gill? Hell yes. But those ships have evidently sailed, and Carter is an experienced D1-caliber guard who can play immediately — a commodity in painfully short supply on the Hilltop. If he does choose Georgetown, he'll provide valuable backup ballhandler minutes, hopefully without the injuries or chucking fever that have plagued him in the past.