Rice: Carter "Fits Perfectly" at Rutgers

Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) combo guard Eli Carter signed his binding national letter of intent with Rutgers, and ScarletReport.com caught up with Rutgers coach Mike Rice to get his thoughts on the newest addition to the 2011 class. Rice said Carter "fits perfectly with the way I want to play basketball," and described in-depth why he recruited Carter.

Rutgers coach Mike Rice thought so much of Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) combo guard Eli Carter, he recruited him three times.

What Rice sees in the newest addition to Rutgers' 2011 class, who signed his national letter of intent Thursday, is a wonderful piece for the up-tempo, high-pressure style he plans to move toward with a complete roster this season.

"I think he fits perfectly with the way I want to play basketball," Rice told ScarletReport.com. "That means he's really good at the defensive end, has tremendously long arms for a guard, great tenacity on the defensive end.

"Offensively, he finishes in the open court, he can beat you with his penetration, he can shoot the perimeter jumper, has good floaters in and around the basket, and he can get other people involved."

The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder Carter joins a backcourt class that already includes Myles Mack, Jerome Seagears and Malick Kone, and gives the Scarlet Knights another long, athletic defender.

"He's kinda of the perfect complement for the way I want to play basketball, and for the other players in the incoming class, whether it's Jerome, whether it's Myles," Rice said. "That's going to be a difficult back court (to play against), offensively and defensively. I think they all do what I want to do. That's important for me."

Carter's commitment last week and subsequent signing brought an end to a three-year recruitment by Rice.

The dalliance began when Rice was recruiting Carter to Robert Morris in the summer of 2009. After being named Rutgers' coach a year ago, Rice recruited Carter, who was playing at St. Anthony High (Jersey City, N.J.).

The courtship continued into the summer, but Carter elected to attend Brewster Academy.

Rutgers filled up its scholarship allotment so it trailed off with Carter, but when it was learned Michael Taylor was not going to qualify for Rutgers, and guard Tyree Graham ruptured his Achilles tendon and would miss the 2011-12 season, the Scarlet Knights moved back into the picture.

During his official visit to campus two weeks ago, Carter's final tipping point was how he would be used in the offense. He developed the reputation as a strong defender at Brewster Academy, but he wanted to make sure his offensive game also will develop with the Scarlet Knights.

A film session during the visit helped Carter understand how Rutgers' motion offense gives players the ability to excel on offense.

"It's one of those things where we spread the floor, we move, screen and penetrate for one another, but you have freedom to go and do those kinds of things," Rice said. "We showed him our offense, broke down our offense, and our motion and some of our set plays, and he liked the spacing of how we run offense.

"That's one of our strengths of this program. You don't know who were going to go with at any certain point. We're not very predictable, and he fits into that perfect."

Scarlet Report Top Stories