Analysis: Carter Leads Rutgers to JSBL Win

The Rutgers-led contingent of the Gutter Cleaners got 27 points from incoming freshman Eli Carter in a come-from-behind 84-80 win against previously unbeaten Larson Ford on Tuesday at St. Rose High. So, how did Carter do it, and what transpired with the other eight Scarlet Knights playing for the Gutter Cleaners?

BELMAR, N.J. – Point guard Myles Mack has a high school national championship and the moniker of a big-game player and combo guard Jerome Seagears is known as a pure scorer.

However, the third guard of Rutgers' recruiting class isn't short on talent, either, and Tuesday Elijah Carter showed it.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Carter was the driving force behind the Rutgers contingent rallying for an impressive win in the Verizon Fios Jersey Shore Basketball League. His 27 points, in a variety of ways, enabled the Rutgers-led team of Gutter Cleaners to an 84-80 win against Larson Ford at St. Rose High.

It pushed the Gutter Cleaners' mark to 2-3, while Larson Ford is 4-1.

After a lackluster first half as a team as offensive fouls and poor defensive rotations led to a five-point halftime lead, Carter showcased his offensive skills. He scored on catch-and-shoot jumpers from 3-point range, was able to create separation to get his own shot off the dribble, drove to the basket for lay-ins and floaters, and also got to the free throw line.

"I came out aggressive (in the second half). I wanted to win," Carter said. "My teammates had my back, and I had their back, and we came out with the win."

He also made big plays down the stretch, hitting a 3-pointer with 1:54 to play to give the Scarlet Knights contingent an 81-80 lead, had a tremendous defensive stand to force a turnover and then penetrated and made a nice pass to Austin Johnson, who was fouled and then made two free throws to give the Gutter Cleaners an 83-80 lead.

Here are other observations from the win:

Wally Judge (10 points): Early foul trouble never allowed Judge to get in the flow, and while there were few moments of brilliance, he showed his offensive game with a few drives to the basket and a nifty face-up 12 footer. He also had a pivotal shot block in the closing minutes and his quick-jump ability and long arms make him a shot-blocking threat near the basket.

Myles Mack (17 points): His ability to beat defenders off the dribble was mitigated because Larson Ford had a few big guards that bodied Mack frequently. He gets his shot off quickly, and was still quick to the basket when he was able to beat his defender.
However, he is 5-foot-9 and Larson Ford continually looked to post up against him.

Jerome Seagears (7 points): He wasn't much of a factor because his jumper wasn't falling. When Carter started playing well in the second half, Seagears sat and cheered him on.

Malick Kone (4 points): He can put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket, but didn't have the confidence to go all the way so he usually stopped and opted for mid-range jumpers. He didn't mind being a facilitator in the offense, and also used his length on defense.

Greg Lewis (2 points): The strength issue showed as he tried to battle inside against a much older and stronger front court. In an offense-first league, Lewis didn't force things and also wasn't afraid to mix things up inside.

Derrick Randall (3 points): The power forward runs the floor well but wasn't rewarded in transition as a few passes missed the mark and other times weren't made. Randall is a natural rebounder, and physically it wasn't an issue playing against a big front court.

Austin Johnson (11 points): The junior made plenty of moves in the low post, going to his right and left, but was often off the mark. He didn't perform as well as a week ago, but even when not scoring and having trouble guarding in the low post, he remained a leader and continued to push his teammates.

Austin Carroll (3 points): A frustrating night as Carroll had four first-half fouls, including a technical, also had several turnovers on poor passes. In Carroll's defense, though, this was his second game since the end of the season as he continues to recover from January knee surgery.

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