What the addition of Carter means

The Gators got a big boost earlier this week when Rutgers guard Eli Carter announced he would transfer to Florida. After losing Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario to graduation after last season, the guard position got an experienced playmaker that can create his own offense. The question now becomes whether or not he can be eligible for the 2013-14 season.

There were questions about the future of the guard position at Florida before Eli Carter made his decision to finish his college career in Gainesville.

The point guard position is fine with Scottie Wilbekin heading into his senior season and five-star point guard Kasey Hill playing as a freshman this year. Carter can play some minutes as the point guard, similar to what Kenny Boynton did last year when Wilbekin was off the floor. That's all dependent on Carter becoming eligible for the 2013-14 season.

Carter's true value to the Florida roster comes at the shooting guard spot. Boynton leaves the program as the second leading scorer in program history and Mike Rosario was a staple in the guard rotation over the last two years. The only experienced player at shooting guard that returns for the 2013-14 season is Michael Frazier, who was seventh on the team with 5.6 points per game but shot a team-high 46.8 percent from behind the three-point line.

Offensively, Frazier didn't show much of an ability to get to the rim. That doesn't mean that skill isn't there, but it wasn't a part of his game last year. He was trusted to stretch the defense with his three-point shot.

That's where Carter's skillset comes in.

The former Rutgers guard creates havoc for the opposing defense with his ability to get the ball to the rim. He has range and can shoot from behind the three-point line, but he excels at attacking the paint and drawing fouls.

Once he gets to the free throw line, Carter shot 86.4 percent last season, which would have led the Gators last season. Florida also struggled with getting to the free throw line last season because of a lack of a presence near the rim, so Carter should help change that in crunch time, too.

Carter played in just 24 games last season but attempted 110 free throws. That number would have put him second on the Florida roster behind the 139 free throws Patric Young attempted.

The shooting guard position was always going to be work in progress, but Carter would be an important piece and possible starter if the NCAA rules him eligible immediately.

The Gainesville Sun reported on Tuesday that Carter already began the process to put in the waiver for immediate eligibility. His reason stems from the coaching situation at Rutgers that saw Mike Rice fired when videos of his abusive practice habits became public. Rutgers recently hired former Los Angeles Lakers assistant Eddie Jordan to become the program's head coach, but Carter still elected to leave the program.

Even if he does get cleared for this season, Carter is still dealing with an injury. He suffered a fractured right fibula in mid-February during a loss at DePaul. There was no timetable put on the recovery time when the injury occurred.


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