The transfer market has been extremely kind to Maryland in recent years.
In case you’ve been under a rock, Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter Jr. committed to coach Mark Turgeon and the Terrapins on Friday morning. It was the start of a potentially huge weekend as West Virginia transfer Terry Henderson will be visiting campus.
Obviously Carter is a huge get, but what is so impressive about his game?
First of all, Carter is a legitimate power forward. He is a back-to-the-basket type of post presence, something that the Terps haven’t had too much of lately. Carter commands the basketball in the low post and can do some special things once he gets it.
The Georgia native can spin off a defender and make acrobatic finishes at the rim. Despite being 6’8, he has a ton of athleticism and can cause mismatches for many defenders. One of the things that Carter really excels at is rejecting opposing players at the basket. Carter was second on the team in blocks (1.1 per game) and really made a living camping out in the lane.
His presence isn’t downright scary, but he’s so quick that he can make up for not being an overwhelming player in the paint. During the 2013-2014 season, Maryland didn’t have any rim protectors. With freshmen Trayvon Reed and Michal Cekovsky coming in along with Carter in 2015, that just turned into a pretty scary front line.
Carter gets a lot of credit for his inside presence and defensive prowess. However, he’s a much better outside shooter than he is given credit for. In the 18 games this past season that Carter attempted a three in, he connected on at least one in nine of those games. In games where he hit multiple shots from beyond the arc, he shot 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from beyond the arc.
Coach Mark Turgeon and his staff are very familiar with power forwards who can shoot. Senior forward Evan Smotrycz can be downright deadly from beyond the arc when he is on. Obviously, Carter is more of a post presence than Smotrycz is.
Quite possibly the largest facet of the game that Carter will affect is on the glass. The Thomasville native averaged 8.4 rebounds-per-game last season, which ranked third in the ACC behind Jabari Parker (Duke) and Talib Zanna (Pittsburgh). Carter’s athleticism helps him to make up for his lack of size and explode to the basketball. While the Terps did struggle to defend the paint, Maryland did finish second in the ACC in total rebounding (25.5 rebounds-per-game). Carter should drastically help to improve those numbers and make up for the loss of forward Charles Mitchell.
Carter will impact the game in so many different ways once he is eligible in 2015. Combine that with a stellar 2014 recruiting class and this could be a very special group as the Terps try to leap to the top of the Big Ten standings.