JC Forward Paul Carter Gets Gopher Interest

Paul Carter, a 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward from Missouri State (MO) University-West Plains Community College, has attracted plenty of recruiting interest after a strong performance in the recent Jerry Mullen Camp in Tulsa. Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith plans to visit Carter Tuesday, according to SMS-West Plains head coach Brian Osterman.

Paul Carter is originally from California and moved to New Orleans as a junior. However, due to Hurricane Katrina, he finished his high school career at Little Rock (AR) Mills, where he graduated.

Carter started last season at Connors State (OK) CC before transferring to Missouri State (MO) University-West Plains for the second semester. He was not released from Connors State and will not be on scholarship until this fall. Carter redshirted last year and will be a freshman this season. He has completed 20 to 24 credits, according to Osterman, who is originallly from Good Thunder, Minn. He needs 65 credits to graduate, and if he can finish up during summer school, he would have three years of college eligibility remaining.

Carter's status is up in the air, due to his academics situation, according to Osterman.

"We will not know until January. He is going to have to take a big load to be eligible. He'll have to take a heavy load with five academic courses. There is a risk taking that many classes. He is going to take 17 credits in the fall and 17 in the spring and six in the summer. He had to take some remedial classes," Osterman said.

Carter has received plenty of recruiting interest after a strong showing in Tulsa earlier this month. Osterman feels that list could grow, if Carter gets his classwork in order.

"He is hearing from Oregon, Minnesota, Wyoming and Charlotte, and mid-majors like Arkansas Little Rock and Arkansas State."

Osterman think that Carter is a very talented player.

"He is very skilled. He understands the game and has great leadership qualities. He is a pretty good ballhandler and outside shooter," Osterman said. "He needs to get stronger and needs to rebound better."

Osterman compares Carter favorably to E.J. Drayton, who played for him at Colby (KS) CC. Drayton averaged 13.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season as a senior at Charlotte.

"He might be better than E.J. at the same stage, and E.J. starred for two years at Charlotte and recently signed professionally in Spain for $150,000."

Osterman said that several high-profile programs will visit the campus to watch Carter and some of his other teammates.

"Coach (Tubby) Smith will be in Tuesday," Osterman said. "Arkansas and Wyoming will come in on Sunday. Wednesday, Bob Lutz from Charlotte will be in and Thursday Oregon will come. Missouri State's Barry Hinson will be here Tuesday."

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