There have been three WVU players drafted into the NBA this century. Jevon Carter should be the fourth. I asked several Mountaineer greats who have either played in or been around NBA clubs what their thoughts are on Carter, and some of their responses might surprise you.
Through his hard work, tenacity, and dedication, Jevon Carter has molded himself into one of the top guards in the NCAA. Although he gets talked about more for his prowess on the defensive end, his unflappable leadership, handle, and ability to knock down the outside shot round out the package.
Those qualities that make him stand out on the college hardwood could lead to him being the first Mountaineer to play in an NBA Regular Season game since Devin Ebanks and Kevin Jones did it in 2012-13.
Jones, who currently plays for Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz in Spain, said he definitely sees the same qualities in Carter that he saw in NBA guards.
“It starts with his defense,” Jones said, “and he has had that down pat since he was a freshmen. Also, his offensive capabilities have improved throughout his four years as well, being able not only to create shots for himself but for his teammates.”
Beyond the physical skills it takes to play in the NBA, what goes on between the ears goes a long way in helping the physically gifted to adapt and fit.
Jones addressed that aspect of Carter’s game. “One big thing that I notice is his poise during games, he doesn’t ever seem to get rattled by big moments. He knows when to be aggressive and look for his shots. He also knows when it’s time to get others involved.”
Truck Bryant preceded Carter, finishing his career in Morgantown in 2012. He currently plays pro ball in Qatar for Al-Shamal Sports Club. He echoed Jones’ sentiments, saying Carter is a “lock-down defender, can run the show and score.
“I think he is a NBA player,” Bryant continued, “and I feel a lot of players from WVU get overlooked. But he has done so much for this program don’t think they can overlook that.”
Alex Ruoff is now a veteran pro-basketball player. After going undrafted in 2009, he played in the Summer League for the Washington Wizards. Since then, he has played for several clubs in Europe, including a return to the U.S. in 2012 for a stint in the D-League. Currently, he is out for the season with an injury for Juventut in Spain, but has kept an eye on Carter.
“Carter is a great player, extremely hard worker,” said Ruoff. “His ability to guard the basketball is going to take him really far at the next level. The heart he plays with is rare and GM’s love it. The sky’s the limit for the kid. Wish him all the best.”
Jones said Carter reminded him of on current NBA player: Patrick Beverly of the L.A. Clippers “as far as his defense and quick hands, you can tell he takes pride in locking his man down much like Beverly. He can make shots as well, which is an added bonus.”
So, where could Carter fall in the 2018 NBA Draft? I’ve seen recent mock drafts with him at the tail end of the first round, and one NBA Draft expert and senior writer for The Athletic, Sam Vecenie, told me that he currently sees Carter as a second rounder. (We’ll go further in depth with Vecenie in a future article.)
What could potentially winning a Big XII MVP and a deep NCAA Tournament run do for Carter? Buckle up. It’s going to be fun to watch.