On the August 30th episode of the Providence Crier Podcast BOC & The Crier drafted PC’s roster for our player preview series. We take a look at each player and what fans may expect this upcoming season.
Everybody who follows me knows how much I believe in Devin Carter. There were many times last year where I made the proclamation that Devin Carter was the most important player to the successes and failures of the Providence Friars. While Bryce Hopkins received most of the accolades nationally (deservedly so), I thought Carter was the straw that stirred the drink for the Friars. His non-stop motor and routinely locking down the opposition’s best player made him a fan favorite in Friartown. He has a grit and toughness that permeates from him that you need from a leader. At year’s end last year, Carter received Honorable Mention All-Big East recognition last year, and I don’t think it is too far fetched to see him become a First Team All-Big East player this upcoming year.
The most surprising thing about Carter’s game last year, in my opinion, was his ability to generate offense on his own. He was third on the team in scoring, averaging over 13 points a game. Coming in, I thought he was going to be another version of Justin Minaya, who was known for his relentless energy and whose offense was manufactured through pure effort. Carter’s offensive game is advanced, which probably should not have been too shocking given who his father is. Carter has the ability to take over a game offensively (see the Creighton win from last year), that is just not something I expected from DC. He’s a very well rounded offensive player.
Carter was a lockdown defender last year, and I thought it was the second year in a row that a PC player was snubbed for Big East Defensive Player of the Year. I fully expect him to challenge Kalkbrenner and Clingan for that award this year. There were so many times where a player tried to challenge Carter 1:1, and he blocked their attempt or forced an ill-advised shot. His athleticism combined with his will to win make him one of the best defenders in all of college basketball.
Carter’s athleticism is what really jumped off the page to me. I felt like a broken record tweeting, “Loose ball…and Carter somehow gets to it before everybody else for a breakaway Dunk”. He’s like an all-world cornerback who eats up ground once the ball is in the air. I’ve never seen anything like him. He’s truly a special athlete. There are going to be certain times where Garwey Dual, Corey Floyd Jr. and Devin Carter are all on the court together, and that will be quite a sight to see defensively. The backcourt for Providence is littered with elite defenders.
For Carter to make “the leap”, he needs to improve on his three point shooting. He finished 29.9% from 3 last year, which is far below where you want somebody to be who is going to be a focal point of the offense. Carter has a slight hitch in his shot, and I’m curious if that gets ironed out under English at all. If Carter can become a 33-35% three point shooter, which isn’t asking too much, his 13 points a game likely turns into 15-16 points/game.
Most important, defenders have to honor his ability to make the deep ball, which then gives him the ability to attack the rim with ease. In pick and roll sets, defenders went under the screen and dared Carter to beat them with the shot. If he can threaten from deep, they now need to go over the top of the screen, and Carter can use his athleticism to finish on the drive.
It is worth addressing that Devin Carter did have a thumb injury that may be worth monitoring throughout the year. Let’s hope it doesn’t linger, as he has been cleared for all basketball related activity.
For expectations, I do think Carter has First Team All-Big East potential. I truly think he is one of the best two way guards in the entire country, and the rest of college basketball is going to take notice. My prediction is Carter averages on a per game basis 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. While Hopkins will be the face of the Providence Friars nationally, Carter will be the leader of this Friar squad. His temperament is everything you want in somebody who is going to lead a program. It is time for the rest of the nation to find out who Devin Carter is.
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