Caracter Leaves St. Pat's

Derrick Caracter has left St. Patrick's and this time the big man won't go back home to Scotch Plains. He's taking his rep and heading somewhere he doesn't have superstar status.

Derrick Caracter has left the distractions and the hangers-on in the New York/New Jersey area for the obscurity at Notre Dame Prep.

``Nobody in Fitchburg or in Massachusetts cares about Derrick Caracter," Notre Dame coach Bill Barton said. "His mom thought it was the best situation for Derrick to be successful and get to Louisville."

The 6-foot-8 ½, 270-pound senior, who committed to Rick Pitino's program shortly after the summer, departed St, Patrick's (N.J.) and landed at Notre Dame Prep a few days ago, according to Barton.

``Kevin Boyle is a very good coach and St. Patrick's is obviously a terrific program, but it's in New Jersey," added Barton. "They felt he needed to get away from New Jersey, but it has nothing to do with Coach Boyle or St. Pat's."

``We can do different things here," he continued. "He's going to have structure all day. He won't be able to go out at night. Derrick needed to get out of the environment in New Jersey. It's not that he's a bad kid or anything like that, but he's been e celebrity and has been treated as such since the eighth grade."

Caracter is taking a full course load at Notre Dame Prep and will team with Paul Harris (Syracuse) and Lazar Hayward (Marquette) to give Barton his most talented team in his tenure in Fitchburg.

One of Caracter's faults has been his lack of consistent effort on the court – and one of Barton's biggest strengths is getting his players to give effort all the time.

While Barton hasn't yet seen Caracter on the court while in Fitchburg since the team is currently on a holiday break, he already has a positive impression of the big man off the court.

``I don't know what Derrick's status was at St. Patrick's when he left, but from my limited dealings with him, he's a very bright, articulate young man and was taking AP classes at St. Pat's," Barton said. "This is not a kid that should, or will, struggle academically."

``I can't stress enough how bright he is," Barton added. "He's capable of doing college work right now."

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