Catamounts Venture to the Sunshine State for Their Latest Recruit
John Becker and the rest of the Vermont coaching staff have begun the search for their next point guard, extending an offer to class of 2021 point guard, Jace Carter. Vermont came out the gate strong, firing off scholarship offers to four different players (Alamutu, Johnson, Durugordon and Heidbreder) all within the same proximity of each other. All four of those players fall within the shooting guard/wing type role and while Carter is officially listed as a point guard, his length and versatility allows him to play at the 1-3 positions. Vermont definitely has a type.
Carter hails from Titusville, Florida and along with Vermont holds official offers from programs such as Siena and Appalachian State, while also receiving strong interest from high major schools like Tennessee and Richmond. Vermont’s recruitment pipeline typically doesn’t extend down to the sunshine state, but current/former players Duncan Demuth, Bernie Andre and Daniel Giddens all have ties to Florida and could be playing a part in Vermont’s decision to build a stronger network down south.
Verbal Commits officially lists Carter as a 6’1, 170 lbs point guard, but after viewing his most recent tape, it’s clear that Carter has grown quite a bit since then. Realistically Carter is likely around 6’5 with plenty of strength to boot. Coach Becker holds versatility to the highest degree and with the ability to slide from the 1-3 spots, Carter is a perfect fit for the type of defensive rotations coach Becker emphasizes most.
With guards Stef Smith and Benny Shungu set to move on after the 2020-21 season, Vermont is in need of retooling and adding depth at the guard position. Carter would make for an excellent addition to an already talented group. It’s still to be determined what his official position would be at the next level, though his basketball IQ and athleticism should be more than enough to help get his foot in the door. Carter appears to be an ideal fit for John Becker’s system, so let’s take a quick dive into how/where he’d impact the team best.
Where Does Carter Create the Most Impact?
As a key contributor for Astronaut High, Carter balled out his junior year with averages of 21.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists a game while helping guide the War Eagles to a 22-7 record. Carter was even named the Florida Today Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Verbal Commits only ranks Carter as a two-star recruit, but with an ever-growing list of suitors, Carter has emerged as quite the player and will no doubt have his pick of the litter come signing day.
There is some recent and relevant tape available of Carter’s junior year highlights. Although it’s a small sample size, it’s clear that Carter has the talent to play at the next level. As previously mentioned, Carter is much bigger than what Verbal Commits has him listed at (6’1) and his style of play seems more suited for that of an attacking guard rather than a pass-first playmaker. Does coach Becker envision Carter as his point guard of the future, or will he look to capitalize on his strengths and utilize him more in a shooting guard/wing role?
The two biggest facets of Carter’s game displayed on the tape are his shooting – most notably from beyond the arc and his ability to attack the rim. His shooting form is tremendous, as Carter does an excellent job at squaring his shoulders to the basket and holding his follow-through. Those are marks of an excellent shooter who has spent countless hours in the gym perfecting his form whether it’s off the dribble, catch and shoot or fading away, Carter’s shooting touch is like clockwork.
On the other end of the court, Carter showcased a knack for defensive awareness, as he was constantly swiping the ball away or using his athleticism to swat away any unsuspecting shot. Often times these defensive stands would lead to a fast-break in the other direction and a swing in momentum. It should come as no surprise that the coaching staff at Vermont thinks so highly of Carter, as his versatile and well-rounded game fits perfectly into the Catamounts style of play.
But is that fit at point guard? If Carter is determined to play at the point for his next team, then he’ll need to develop into a more consistent passer. Everyone knows he can score at a moments notice and Carter even showed great vision as to how he can spot the open man the second he gets doubled. However, initiating the offense and becoming a better facilitator should be a sizable point of focus for Carter during his senior campaign at Astronaut High.
Has Vermont Found Their Next Point Guard?
Realistically once Smith and Shungu have graduated the reigns will be passed onto the likes of Robin Duncan and Aaron Deloney, but the Cats would be wise to add depth after their top two guards say farewell. Likewise, Carter seems best suited as an attacking shooting guard or wing. His ball control and vision will be a great asset, but don’t expect the young man to lead the team in assists. Carter’s immediate contribution to the Cats would come from his excellent shooting, as he should look to make plays and attack with the ball in his hands.
Could Carter be a point guard in Vermont’s system? Absolutely. Vermont has shown an affection for the bigger, stronger guards such as Smith and Shungu who can handle themselves physically whether they’re attacking the basket or defending the paint. Carter definitely falls within that category, so it wouldn’t be a total shock to see him handling the ball at times for the Cats. Because of his versatility, expect John Becker to utilize Carter in various roles and spots as he looks to create and capitalize on those indistinguishable mismatches.
While Carter represents a phenomenal prospect for Vermont who would fit very well within the system, there is a bit of red tape. This has nothing to do with Carter as a person or his on-court performance. The issue at hand is directly related with what’s happening currently in the world. With Covid-19 still an on-going challenge, it remains to be seen how the pandemic will affect these future recruitment proceedings. Who knows when/if Carter would be able to take a visit. Even if he liked Vermont, Carter still might feel safer staying close to home and no one should blame him for that.
It’s a very fluid situation and one that will be very interesting to watch unfold in the coming months. Regardless, Carter appears to have the makings of a well-rounded guard who should continue to excel at the next level. His style of play would make for a superb fit at Vermont. Ideally John Becker and the rest of the coaching staff will continue to keep tabs on the young man. Hopefully they’ll find a way to convince him to trade-in his sunscreen for a pair of winter gloves.