Maryland landed an important front court piece Friday morning, with it being reported by multiple outlets that former Georgia Tech forward Robert Carter Jr. has decided to transfer to the soon-to-be Big Ten school. Maryland made the news official with an announcement of its own shortly after the reports surfaced.
The 6-foot-8 Carter, who had already visited St. John’s and South Carolina, posted averages of 11.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2013-14. His addition will have Maryland a player capable of scoring in the low post, which will help a group that’s adding some quality perimeter shooters in its 2014 recruiting haul (Romelo Trimble, Dion Wiley and Jared Nickens).
“We’re excited to welcome Robert to the University of Maryland men’s basketball program,” Turgeon said in the school release. “We had a great visit with Robert and his parents, Robert Sr., and Linda, and welcome them to our family. Robert is a tremendous young man and he will be an outstanding teammate and leader.
“He is a complete player with a strong offensive skillset that complements his desire to rebound and defend. Our program is thrilled to have him as we transition into the Big Ten.”
Carter won’t be able to play in games this season as he’ll be required to sit out a season, but this is a key addition for Maryland with an eye towards 2015. Both Jon Graham and Evan Smotrycz are seniors this season, which at present time would leave Damontre Dodd, Michal Cekovsky and Trayvon Reed in the paint. The addition of Carter, who played alongside Reed with the Atlanta XPress, gives Maryland a needed boost in front court depth.
In a story written by Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Carter was highly complimentary of head coach Mark Turgeon in discussing why he decided to join the Maryland program.
“Throughout the process he called me when I decided I was going to transfer,” Carter said. “He laid out a plan on what he would help me do and I liked it.
“He was a coach in the NBA,” Carter added. “He was on a NBA staff. He has a great staff around him and is very good at skill development. The weight guy helped transform Dexter Pittman’s body and helped Alex Len gain weight.”
The 2014-15 season is an important one for Maryland, which is hosting former West Virginia guard Terry Henderson this weekend. Turgeon has yet to lead the program to the NCAA tournament, and with the arrival of a very good recruiting class reaching the 68-team event (at minimum) is the expectation of the fan base.
However even with the focus on this coming season there’s also the need to build with the future in mind, and the addition of Carter will help the Terrapins in that regard.