The Dominion Post  

Carter closes in on WVU career record for steals

Created on:   Wed, Nov 29, 2017   9:48 PM

Last modified:   Wed, Nov 29, 2017   9:48 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — From recruiting heist to WVU’s career leader in thefts, it would seem Jevon Carter’s college career never strayed too far from a steal in some way.

“It’s funny, because I never really had that many in high school,” he said. “I took a lot of plays off in high school.”

The WVU senior point guard needs three to break the mark of 251 career steals, held by former standout Greg Jones, a sign that he hasn’t taken off too many plays while with the Mountaineers, who host New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), at 7 p.m. Nov. 30, in the Coliseum.

“No, you can’t really get away with that now,” he said with a smile.

Along with the career steals mark, Carter’s 1,245 career points are just shy of breaking into the school’s all-time top 25, and his 351 assists are 14th on the school’s all-time list.

Not bad for a young man whose other major-college options included Dartmouth, Illinois State and Kent State, even though Carter’s Proviso East (Maywood, Ill.) High School has produced a number of NBA players, such as Michael Finley, Dee Brown, Shannon Brown and Doc Rivers.

“You know why we went after him?” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said. “We were coming off a year where I had to beg guys to play, and I’m watching AAU at eight or nine o’clock in the morning and Jevon is out there playing his behind off and everybody else hasn’t even woke up yet.”

Huggins told his assistants to take a look at Carter, and they, too, felt he would help the Mountaineers.

“I get calls now from the bigger schools in his home area,” WVU assistant Larry Harrison once said. “They’re always telling me how they missed out on Jevon.”

Carter, who was named the national Defensive Player of the Year last season for recording 92 steals and averaging 5.0 rebounds per game, said he’s never put much thought into remembering a favorite one, but realizes steals come for a reason.

“I play hard on defense,” he said.

Well, there is a little more to it than that.

“You have to want to be able to do all of that stuff,” WVU guard Daxter Miles Jr. said. “A lot of guys don’t like playing defense. He actually loves it. It’s about his will. I don’t think there is ever a possession when he’s not trying to steal the ball.”

Huggins has described Carter’s ability to defend by saying he has good hands and is able to follow through completely when going after a steal.

Carter credited his high level of anticipation.

Neither was ready to say Carter’s extra hours spent in the film room helped him learn an opponent’s tendencies so he could go after a steal.

“That really doesn’t help me get a steal,” Carter said. “It helps me guard him better. I don’t know if it has anything to do with film. I’m not watching film to learn how to steal the ball.”

And it’s not just WVU’s opponents that have to deal with Carter’s defensive wrath.

“He tries to take it away from everyone in practice, too,” Miles said. “He never stole it from me. I like it when he guards me — when he tries to guard me.”