Burlington (N.J.) Life Center Academy point guard Traci Carter has grabbed the attention of numerous college coaches since returning from a torn meniscus that sidelined him for the spring and summer.
St. John's has extended a scholarship offer, while Louisville, along with Boston College, California, Florida State, Memphis, Providence, Seton Hall, SMU, Tennessee and others have expressed recent interest.
Carter made an unofficial visit with the Cardinals program on Saturday, while head coach Rick Pitino and assistants Kenny Johnson and Wyking Jones all watched him play on Monday night.
Cleared to begin playing less than two months ago, the four-star prospect put his game on display at Seneca High School in Louisville against a deep and talented Jacksonville (Fla.) Arlington Country Day program. The 6-foot Carter scored 19 points and handed out 4 assists before fouling out late in a 77-64 loss. He had his share of highlights, including a nice fake on a fast-break dunk, but his lack of play during the past year also led to a few turnovers.
Disappointed in his play, Carter chose not to speak with the media following the game, choosing instead to get his post-game meal and return to the team hotel.
"I'm not happy with the way I played," explained an apologetic Carter, who did speak with Cardinal Authority later.
His head coach, former University of Louisville All-American Pervis Ellison, was impressed by the play and effort of his point guard.
"I thought he played well," said Ellison. "He's been out all summer. He just got cleared like a month and a half ago, so his conditioning is not quite there, but you see that he came out and gave the effort. He played extremely hard."
Carter would later agree with his coach.
"I always give it my all," he told Cardinal Authority. "I did okay tonight, but as a point guard, I had to many turnovers."
On Monday, he displayed the ability to penetrate and create, a nice outside jumper and a high-tempo motor. His style of play is one that his coach says could remind some of another former Cardinal All-American.
"He plays a lot like Russ Smith, in terms of scoring the basketball," he said. "He can score the basketball at all three levels. He's an explosive kid and he's one of those kids that hates to lose, so he's going to leave it all on the court."
Ellison, who is one of four Cardinals to have his jersey retired by the school, has known Carter for around seven years and that relationship could play a significant role in the recruiting process.
"I've known him since around the 6th grade," said Carter. "He has a big impact on me."
He described gaining attention from his coach's former school as a dream.
"It made me very happy," he said. "It's a big blessing. I believe they are close to offering."
Carter, who is rated as the No.3 point guard in the Scout.com East Region, returns to New Jersey on Tuesday morning and has a game that night.
"You can't stop, have to keep improving," he said.
For now, he'll keep his focus on returning to complete game shape and improving his game, while also evaluating what his increasing options are. An offer from Louisville "might" make him consider making a quick commitment, but his plan is to take his time.
"I want to see what all is out there," he said. "I'll make my decision no later than the spring."