SMU is still looking for a big man to add to its 2015 class, but it appears to be zeroing in on one: West Charlotte (N.C.) High School’s Simeon Carter. SMU head coach Larry Brown watched Carter at West Charlotte in early December, then brought assistant Ulric Maligi to watch him at the National Hoops Fest in Maryland 10 days later.
Carter picked up an offer from SMU in the process, but West Charlotte assistant coach Jacoby Davis said it took the 6-9, 200-pound forward a little while to appreciate being recruited by Brown.
“Simeon’s one of those kids who is still learning about the whole basketball thing,” Davis said. “Once he realized who Larry Brown was, he was really impressed. We’re talking about a legend…He understands this is big to have coach Brown calling.”
But once he started to grasp Brown’s interest in him, SMU quickly rose up his list.
“SMU is probably tops on the list right now,” Davis said. “They his great upside, his skills and his athleticism. He’s only played two (real) years of high school ball, but he picks up things well. They’ve been in to watch him work out too.”
Carter did not see meaningful minutes his first two seasons at West Charlotte. He did not play at all his freshman year, and sat behind Kennedy Meeks, who now plays for North Carolina, his sophomore year.
“Last year was his first year really getting to play, getting to be on the floor,” Davis said. “He practiced before then, but rarely played that much.”
Maligi and Brown spoke with Carter on the phone multiple times and met him at his practice. Davis said the two parties are working to get him to SMU “as soon as possible”, but do not have a date set up yet.
Davis said Carter has offers from Maryland, Virginia Tech, Georgia, SMU, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Wilmington. Even though SMU earned high praise, Carter is interested in some other teams too.
“He likes Maryland, Georgia was one of the first to offer, and then Charlotte was the first to offer him,” Davis said.
Carter has not taken any visits yet, so he is not close to a decision. He traveled to Virginia Tech over the summer, but that was for a team camp. Davis said he plans on visiting Virginia Tech, Georgia and Maryland in addition to SMU.
“Right now, it’s just letting him go out and check some campuses out, and then see where we are,” Davis said.
Few colleges noticed Carter prior the 2014 EYBL season, but his play for Team United got him some attention. But Davis said his outbreak isn’t surprising.
“You could see it coming last year,” Davis said. “During the latter part of the (high school) season, he did well…He played EYBL, and that’s one tough league. He had a great July, and that’s when a lot of schools started calling him. Now it’s carrying over. He’s just scratching the surface now, he’s going to be a really good college player.”