Obviously, Coach Weber has settled in on a starting five and his bench rotation, but what's not certain are quality minutes from junior big man Jack Ingram and freshman Aaron Spears. Carter really doesn't play the 4 or 5 spot right now but appears to show more mobility and athleticism than both Ingram and Spears.
"At the start of the season, Warren was having a difficult time adjusting to the physical play in practice," said Weber. But according to coach Weber now, he plans to get Carter more minutes because of his recent play in practice.
Even though Carter is starting to get the attention of Weber in practice, one can only wonder about two things. One, if he had played more during the season how much better he could be right now; and two, if the Texas native would have taken his coach's advice and red-shirted.
During a recent press conference Weber told us, "This is a big adjustment for Warren, he has to get used to playing on the blocks and learn how to play with his back away from the basket."
Before it's all said and done, Warren will prove to be a special player for Illinois. Why? Because many of today's players come to college with egos, thinking only of themselves. Carter appears to be the opposite. Every game that I've gone to or seen on TV Carter is there cheering on his teammates with a genuine high five or smile. There's no way that can be easy for him, but he obviously sees the big picture.
The fact that he's not playing in many games doesn't mean Carter is not working hard. The weight room is where the difference is really showing, according to coach Weber.
With all the issues surrounding the program to start the season, it's nice to hear about players like Carter. "I'm here to play for the Illini and that's what I'm going to do," said Carter. When his time comes I'm sure the Illini Nation will welcome him with open arms.