Carter Named Big East Rookie of the Week

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — In this year's marquee win, freshman Elijah Carter led the way with 31 points against No. 10 Florida. Following that up with 21 against South Florida, Carter earned Big East Rookie of the Week honors. He is the first since Dane Miller two years ago to bring the award to the RAC.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — According to head coach Mike Rice, freshman guard Elijah Carter just had as good a week as any freshman he has coached.

Earning Big East Player of the Week honors over Maurice Harkless, Carter put up 31 points on No. 10 Florida earlier in the week and scored 21 against South Florida on New Year's Day.

His 31 points against Florida are as many as anyone scored since Mike Rosario and the most for a freshman since Tom Savage in the late 80s.

"He's definitely raised his level of play, almost becoming our go-to guy," Rice said. "He's doing it without hunting, doing it within the framework of the offense. That's what I like the best [about it]. He's finishing. He seems to be growing up as far as getting to the foul line, taking good shots. He's doing it in an efficient manner, so it's even more pleasing."

Carter's 26 points, 4.5 assists and three steals per game last week are a major part in the Scarlet Knights (8-6) putting things together at the right time.

"Guys are executing better and allowing him better spacing to go, but in the end, Eli is making shots, making big plays, especially down the end," Rice said. "It's a credit to his development."

Carter showed this week that he can, and will, be a clutch shooter for Rutgers through the rest of the season. Hitting huge shots with the game on the line against Florida and USF, Carter averaged 16 points per game in the second half of games.

"This is a blessing, I had no idea it was coming," Carter said. "Everything goes to my team, just from having the confidence in me to make shots. They're helping me every day in practice. Everything goes to the team."

Carter, however, said needs to be more clutch late in games. He missed an off-balance shot as time expired in the Sunday loss to USF.

"I just want to win," Carter said. "We took a tough loss and it's because I missed a shot. We have to execute in the last minute of the game."

Randall to Start

Rice confirmed at today's practice that freshman forward Derrick Randall will likely start ahead of junior Austin Johnson Wednesday against West Virginia.

"We have practice tomorrow and he could always screw that up, but for right now, I like the energy Derrick's giving and the toughness that he's giving," Rice said.

In a week where Carter emerged as a star freshman, Randall showed he has the skills to be competitive in the post. Randall pulled down eight rebounds in 17 minutes against Florida and scored 10 points against USF this week.

"It's my first start, I'm pretty exciting," Randall said. "I'm just not thinking about it. I'm just thinking about working hard and just trying to help the team out.

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