After leading the nation in three-point accuracy as a sophomore in 2006-07, many felt like A&M forward Josh Carter would be just as big of a threat this year as a junior. But what he—and the rest of the A&M basketball community—found out, was that Acie Law was an even bigger piece of the Aggies' success than many realized.
A&M head coach Mark Turgeon believes that Carter, who struggled for most of the season to find the same groove from three-point land, was guarded by opponents' top defender, which was locked into Law the season before. Plus, Law was such a threat to penetrate, that Carter's man often left him wide open to help close the lane.
As the only consistent threat from the outside, he also was forced to take more shots.
"I thought he had to shoot more shots than he did the year before and it was tougher shots," Turgeon said. "He got the best defender instead of the second or third best defender, who was always on Acie Law the year before. It was different for him and we didn't have the perimeter play around him for him to be successful."
But Turgeon is hopeful that sophomores B.J. Holmes and Nathan Walkup can provide added depth on the perimeter this year—along with Donald Sloan, Derrick Roland and freshman Dashan Harris, both of whom may be on the floor for significant minutes with Carter.
"When you only have one guy that can shoot really well from the perimeter it's easy to guard him," Turgeon said. "When you have two or three, you can really stretch (opposing defenses) out. I think Sloan has really improved his jump shot. Obviously Derrick Roland has been hurt so he hasn't been able to, but I think some of the other guys we'll play, whether it's Derrick Lewis, Bryson Graham, Holmes or Walkup, they're all guys who can shoot the ball so that should help Josh, too."
But even with more shooters on the floor, Turgeon isn't sure that Carter will ever have the kind of extraordinary numbers he put up as a sophomore alongside Law.
"I don't know if he'll ever have numbers again like that," Turgeon said. "He stood out there and made a lot of jump shots, but we're hoping he gets closer to that. Josh got (his stroke) back at the end of the year. We don't have a lot of guys that can make shots so he needs to do that for us."
Despite his struggles at times last season, Carter still led the team in scoring, averaging more than 12 points per game, and he will be one of the go-to guys on offense once again in 2008-09.
Turgeon expects big things from Carter
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