Paul Carter narrows list of schools to four

Paul Carter, a 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward from Missouri State University-West Plains CC, who continues to be a top priority for the Minnesota Gophers basketball staff, has narrowed his list of schools to four, according to his head coach, Brian Osterman. Assistant coach Vince Taylor visited Carter Tuesday, a week after getting a visit from Gopher head coach Tubby Smith Tuesday.

Paul Carter has attracted plenty of recruiting interest after a strong performance in the recent Jerry Mullen Camp in Tulsa. Missouri State University-West Plains CC head coach Brian Osterman said that Carter narrowed his list of schools to four today.

"Paul's final four are Minnesota, Charlotte, Wyoming, and Baylor. He is expected to sign early. He is planning to graduate and will have three years to play Division I," Osterman said.

Osterman hinted that Minnesota is the school to beat saying that the interest level was very high for the Gophers and medium interest for the remaining three schools.

Osterman said that Carter wants to take an unofficial visit before classes start at Missouri State University-West Plains CC August 20. He said that Carter plans to talk to his parents before making his college decision.

His parents have already had an impact on his recruitment, according to Osterman.

"His parents asked him to narrow down his list. All the call are making things a bit crazy," he said.

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 originally 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.

Osterman previously told GoldenSports.Net that Carter can get the work done to be eligible.

"He is a good student who works hard. He is not the typical juco guy, who does not go to class. We'll see how he does. I think that he has a chance," Osterman said.

Osterman said that Tubby Smith likes his star player.

"Tubby loves him. He likens him to Tayshaun Prince because he is a lefty," Osterman said.

Osterman has Minnesota ties, which could help Minnesota's chance of landing the talented player who one JC coach told me was the top player in Tulsa earlier this month.

Osterman thinks 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."

If Carter does commit to Minnesota, Gopher fans will be able to catch Carter in action as Missouri State University-West Plains will play two games in the state of Minnesota.

"We play Minnesota West in Worthington on Wednesday and Minneapolis Community the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We are taking the team in a sleeper bus to my parents and my mom is making Thanksgiving dinner for us. We have a lot of southern guys never been to Minnesota. It could be 30 degrees. It could be fifty. There could be snow on the ground. There could be no snow."

Gopher fans are hoping that this will not be the last time that Paul Carter journeys to Minnesota.

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