East Lansing — Ben Carter wants his college basketball career to end cutting down a net, and he’s decided Michigan State give him the best chance for that to happen.
Carter, a 6-foot-9 forward from UNLV, is transferring to Michigan State for his final season of eligibility, he announced on Wednesday. The school cannot comment until Carter signs.
“I realized how I want my college career to end,” Carter told runrebs.com. “I want it to end on a ladder. I want to stand on a ladder, cut down a piece of a net and look into the stands and see my father. I want to share that moment with him.”
Carter, who will be eligible this season as a graduate transfer, was born in Tel Aviv but grew up in Las Vegas. When he decided to attend Oregon out of high school, it was against his dad’s wishes. But after two years, Carter came back home to play of coach Dave Rice at UNLV.
After sitting out the 2014-15 season as a transfer, Carter played in 22 games last season, averaging 8.6 points, six rebounds and 1.4 blocks last season for the UNLV while playing 24 minutes a game.
But 16 games into the season, Rice was fired and Carter later suffered a torn ACL that put him out for the season. He intended on returning for his senior year, but the coaching carousel changed his mind. Chris Beard was named the new coach, only to leave two weeks later for Texas A&M. UNLV then hired Marvin Menzies.
However, Carter had made up his mind by then to move on and was considering several other schools, including Arizona and North Carolina State. A visit to East Lansing made it an easy call.
“This is not an easy decision, but I truly believe Michigan State is the right decision for me,” Carter said. “During this process, I’ve gotten to know and respect Tom Izzo, and playing for one of the most legendary coaches in college basketball history will be one of the greatest experiences of my life. And with everything I’ve been through in my career, I couldn’t pass up the chance to play for a team with real national championship hopes.
“Last week, before I had made my decision, I went on a visit to Michigan State with my family. After seeing everything the program has to offer, my father told me it felt right. That meant a lot to me. Five years ago, he was dead set against me leaving Las Vegas. Now, he understands that it’s the only way to accomplish my dreams as a college basketball player.”
Carter brings help to a thin frontcourt that was hurt by the graduation of Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman, as well as the early departure to the NBA of Deyonta Davis.
Juniors Marvin Clark and Javon Bess also transferred, leaving senior Gavin Schilling and sophomore Kenny Goins as the only big men with experience while 6-9 Nick Ward will be a freshman.
Goins, a former walk-on, is expected to remain on scholarship, leaving the Spartans with one open scholarship. That could go to 6-10 power forward Taurean Thompson of Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
Thompson, the 59th-ranked player in 2016 by 247sports.com, was offered a scholarship last week by Michigan State and Adam Zagoria of sny.com reported the Spartans are still hoping to get Thompson on campus for a visit.