Two days after 3-star point guard Mac McClung decommitted from Rutgers basketball, Steve Pikiell landed a big time frontcourt scorer in JUCO big man Shaq Carter.
The 6’9” Carter took official visits to Rutgers Xavier, Washington State, and Middle Tennessee State in the past six weeks and held over a dozen mid to high major offers. They include Purdue, Auburn, Iowa State, LSU, Wichita State and Memphis, according to 247 Sports. Rutgers was able to secure Carter despite major competition for his services. He will likely sign officially during the November signing period and is a major win on the recruiting trail for Pikiell and the staff.
Carter is a natural replacement for Deshawn Freeman, as he is likely to be the best frontcourt scorer on the roster next season. He is also a solid rebounder and imposing force down low. Carter averaged 9.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 21.8 minutes per game last season at JUCO powerhouse Eastern Florida State. He also shot 56.6% from the field and just under 60% from the free throw line. Carter will have two seasons of eligibility at Rutgers.
As I wrote yesterday, Rutgers needs help at every position and wasn't necessarily looking to replace McClung with another point guard. With Geo Baker and Souf Mensah able to play at the point, in addition to Corey Sanders if he stays for his senior year, as well as Peter Kiss and Montez Mathis in the backcourt next season, Rutgers actually appeared more thin up front offensively, with Freeman and Candido Sa set to graduate. He’ll be the second Shaq in the paint for Rutgers, along with Shaq Doorson, as well other frontcourt players Eugene Omoruyi, Mamadou Doucoure and Myles Johnson. Adding Carter makes them a more balance team in 2018-2019, which is why he became their top priority once McClung decommitted.
As of now, Rutgers has all of their scholarships for the following season accounted for. Credit Pikiell and the staff for staying on Carter since August despite not having room for him at the time. It put them in perfect position in case a spot did open and they arguably filled a bigger need for the program when it did. This is exciting news for Rutgers basketball for the future and a sign that the coaching staff knows what they are doing on the recruiting trail.