Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gophers Get JUCO Forward

Junior College Forward Paul Carter has committed to Tubby Smith and the Gophers for the 2008-2009 Season:

Paul Carter, a 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward from Missouri State University-West Plains CC, has become the first commit for the 2008-09 season, according to sources close to the program. Carter had been a top priority for the Minnesota Gophers basketball staff after his strong play in Tulsa at the Jerry Mullen camp in July.

(I will add here that Nathen Garth is also committed for 2008-2009, so that part of the blurb above is in error.)

This is the guy who I was nervous about because our competition for his services was Charlotte, Wyoming, and Oregon. I will give Tubby the benefit of the doubt here, especially since it sounds like this guy was a little off the radar, and then really started showing his talents recently.

I'm also a bit nervous because he committed without ever seeing the campus, and that seems weird to me. I do, however, like this quote:

"I think it will be a great opportunity for him to play right away," said West Plains coach Brian Ostermann, a Minnesota native. "He's a very talented young man and also a great person. He will remind a lot of Gopher fans of former Minnesota player Quincy Lewis. He's that gifted offensively."

So between that, and trusting in Tubby, I am very pleased with this signing, even though an awful lot about this reminds me of a Monson signing. I also can't find any pictures or highlights of this guy, so hopefully he actually exists.

Additionally, Tubby has reportedly offered Austin Dufault, a 6-8 kid from North Dakota who has impressed on the AAU circuit.

He's rated three-stars on, but again, our competition for him consists of NDSU, Arizona State, Washington St, Montana St, Northern Iowa, and Creighton. I guess I'm probably expecting too much too quickly, but I don't like going after a kid who is also a target of Montana State, I'd like to think the Gophers are at least higher than that.

UPDATE: I've now heard that Carter is one of the top 10 rated JUCO players in his class, so that's good.

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