Michigan State big man Ben Carter gets sixth year of eligibility

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Michigan State big man Ben Carter has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, the school announced on Monday.

The 6-foot-9 Carter transferred to Michigan State last season in the hopes of contributing as a graduate transfer but his year ended in the preseason with a knee injury.

A former big man at Oregon and UNLV, Carter’s sixth year means the Spartans get another experienced post player to add to their rotation. Carter put up 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game during the 2015-16 season at UNLV as he hopes to be an impact in Michigan State’s rotation.

“I feel blessed. First of all, I want to thank the NCAA for granting the waiver, and everyone at Michigan State, especially in the compliance office, for all their hard work. I honestly didn’t know if the waiver would be granted, but I kept praying that I would be able to play one more year of college basketball,” Carter said in the release.

“When I first decided to transfer to MSU, I thought it would be just a quick eight-month stop. I never imagined I would form the strong bonds with my teammates that I have. Everyone embraced me as part of the family, even after my injury, and that only makes me more excited for next year. I look forward to finishing my master’s, and helping the team in any way I can.”

Michigan State’s big-man rotation already included sophomore Nick Ward and McDonald’s All-American freshman Jaren Jackson before a couple of key spring decisions gave the Spartans tremendous depth.

Suddenly, Michigan State has one of the deepest frontcourts in the country now that Carter is back for a sixth year and Gavin Schilling is also back for a fifth season. The Spartans currently sit at No. 1 in the NBCSports.com preseason top-25 as the return of Miles Bridges and the team’s overall depth leaves Tom Izzo’s team in great position to compete for a national championship next season.