One on one with Wendell Carter

The top target on the board for the Blue Devils in the class of 2017 may very well be Georgia big man Wendell Carter, Jr.   Recently the five star post sat down to discuss the latest developments in his recruitment, which players he’d like to play with in college, and which he’s talked to about making it a reality.

I understand you just acted in your first play Wendell, what got you interested in participating stage acting?

Just wanted to do something different, you know?  I’m not saying that basketball got boring or anything, but I just wanted to break out and try something to see if I liked it or not.


What was the learning process like for you in learning how to act in the play?

It went by pretty smoothly. I kinda came in and it kinda felt natural with walking out on stage, being on big stages, I was comfortable with it. I learned how to be patient and working through my lines and just going back to everyday things and being patient and letting things come to you.


What was the rehearsal schedule like?

It was about three hours a day after school, and then I would get up some shots after that and then go home. It was some long nights, it went for about four weeks doing that.


Now that you have done this, are you going to try and do another play in the future?

Yes sir, I’m going to try out for the play next year. I’m not sure if I will look to do it in college, but it’s a possibility.


Doing the play obviously meant you weren’t able to play in the first open weekend with your new AAU team, how are you feeling about getting back out on the road and competing with them?

I’m just looking forward to coming back in and playing my game, but I’m definitely going to have to get used to the fact that I’m going to be playing with some real high level ballers now. I think I’ll be fine, but getting back into the mindset that I’ve got ballers around me will be key. It feels great being with CP3 with all the connections they have and things like that. Of course there are great players on the team that I’ve had some good practices with them, we’ve bonded while I was there and we were playing great together. The role on the team is similar to Georgia Stars, rebounding, doing all the essential things. Thinking I’m going to be a 4/3, something like that.


You mentioned getting shots up after your play practices, what’s your average shooting  percentages looking like these days?

Yeah actually today I put up about 300 shots, all were three-pointers and I hit about 40 percent or so.


When you’ve been practicing your shot, have you been primarily practicing from 3-point range or more mid-range stuff?

Yeah I do a lot of one-dribble pull-ups because I think that could be one of my go-to moves from the wing because I think that art is kinda lost. I don’t think anyone does the one-dribble pull-up, they are just shooting from all over. So I’ve been practicing that a lot from the free-throw lined extended mostly because I think that’s where I get the ball the most. I also try it on the wing, that’s about it.


When you think about college, what kind of mix are you looking for in terms of role between playing in the post versus playing the perimeter ?

Yeah probably like a 50/50 mix.


On the recruiting side of things, how are things progressing?

Yeah it’s going great and I am planning on cutting my list down soon, I don’t know exactly when, but I’m going to do it soon.


What sparked the desire to cut the list down at this point?

I just don’t want to waste anybody’s time. Not saying that any of the schools are any worse or any better than each other, I can only choose one and I don’t want to waste everybody’s time if you know what I mean.


What’s gone into the family discussions into how you guys are going to cut the list down?

Yeah I plan on cutting it down to 7 or 8 and the discussion has really focused on what college is going to fit me best and not to use me but me to utilize them to help me get to the next level.


Are there any programs recruiting you that at this point it’s a no-brainer for you that they will make that final cut in the Top 7 or 8?

I can’t guarantee that. I’m really focusing on how they utilize their big men, that’s gotta be the first thing, how many shots do their big men get in the offense versus do they have to get offensive rebounds to be involved in scoring. Of course I’m also looking hard at academics, that’s an on-going thing because I know that the schools that make my list are all going to have great academics.


Do any of the programs you are considering in your opinion do a really good job with bigs with the way you are looking to play in college?

All of the schools that I’m about to cut the list down to do a good job with that.


What’s the plan for releasing the Top 7 or 8?

Probably sometime during this summer, it’ll be done before the end of this summer. I kinda know who the list is but there’s still some schools I’ve been thinking about them with the list and of course I’m going to go visit them before I cut it.


Which programs are you then looking at to visit along the lines you just described?

Harvard, that’s the only official visit I have planned so far is to Harvard. We’re looking at that sometime this fall when they have all their basketball guys there and their new class is in. I’m kinda close with some of their recruits they got coming in, so that’d be a great time for me to go visit when they get there. I’m also going to go visit Duke and Kentucky and all the other schools where I pretty much know guys there.


So with Duke and Kentucky and the other programs, are you looking at those visits being official visits, or are any being planned to just be an unofficial visit ?

I’m not sure yet.


What are your thoughts towards the West Coast schools recruiting you? How are things with them in your recruitment?

It’s great, I gotta give them some time with their 2016 recruiting class to see how it goes, that’s why I think it’s great to see this summer which schools are good and which schools aren’t and then I’ll go from there.


Sounds like you are paying close attention to the 2016 class and where they are going…?

Yeah, I know most of them, so I’ve been watching the different schools they are going to and of course I’ve been talking with a lot of those guys and that will definitely help me in my decision-making process.


Which guys have you been talking with from the 2016 class?

I’ve talked to Harry (Giles), Jayson (Tatum), Bam (Adebayo), Miles Bridges, Jonathan Isaac, Jaylen Brown isn’t in 2016 but I’ve talked to him about Cal Berkeley, Alterique, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, that’s the most of them.


Have you been asking those guys different questions based on their situations, or have you been asking them similar questions?

Yeah kinda similar, just looking to understand why they chose their schools. I don’t pay much attention right now to which guys are going pro, I’ll probably pay more attention to that once the college games get going. Right now I’m not as worried about that.


It doesn’t sound like where those 2016 guys are slated to stay or leave is as major a factor in your choice, it sounds more like you are concerned about the potential role and how you fit—is that a good read?

Yes, that’s right.


Does that extend to your class as well? How much attention are you paying attention to where other guys in your class are going or are projected to go?

Of course me and Gary (Trent) have been talking about playing together in college, I talk to Mohamed Bamba a few times too.


What have you and Mohamed primarily discussed?

Just talking about colleges that we like and potentially playing in college together. It’s a potential for the both of us. He’s a great player, he’s athletic and long, I don’t see who could play against us in college if we both played together, I think we’d help each other.


You guys still figuring out whether it’s the best idea for you guys to play together in college?

Yeah we’re still trying to figure some things out. We don’t have a timeline on that, we talk about similar schools that we like and I’m not trying to persuade him to make a decision that he doesn’t want to do and vice versa. We just talk with each other about what colleges that we both like and see if we can make it happen that if we go to the same college it would be great.


Based on knowing where his process is and where your process is headed, do you think both of your decisions are shaping up to come around the same time, or at different points?

I have no idea, we haven’t talked about it. It’s possible we may talk about it and I know me and Gary (Trent) have talked about committing together at the same time and things like that. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m deciding in the Fall.


Sounds like the relationship with you and Gary is still going strong…

Yeah he keeps it 100 with me all the time with schools that he likes and doesn’t like.


Are you and either Mohamed or Gary discussing any visits you guys are hoping to take together in the future?

Yeah I think Mohamed will likely be going up to Harvard for a visit, I’m not sure, he’s talking about going up to visit Harvard and we all have this little group chat going where we talk about things and visits.

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