The Dominion Post  

Carter steals show in WVU win over NJIT

Created on:   Fri, Dec 1, 2017   12:03 AM

Last modified:   Fri, Dec 1, 2017   12:03 AM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Rare is the occasion that Kyle Busch gets asked about taking his time or John Calipari is thought of as recruiting an unheralded player.

The opposite is just what people know.

That is the perception that WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins would like to change about his senior point guard, Jevon Carter.

There is more to Carter, who, yes, has been named to the Big 12’s all-defensive team for three straight seasons and was the national defensive player of the year last season. But he represents more to the
19th-ranked Mountaineers than just a great on-ball defender.

“That’s what I do,” Carter said. “That’s what people see the most.”

Maybe the Nov. 30 102-69 victory, against New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), before 8,882 fans at the Coliseum, was the perfect example.

With 1:04 remaining in the first half, Carter knocked the ball loose from Highlanders guard Zach Cooks, which turned into a run-out dunk for teammate Teddy Allen. It was Carter’s 252nd steal of his career, setting a school record.

“It will probably mean a lot more to me once I’m done,” Carter said. “Right now, I’m just focused on each game and moving on to the next.”

Carter had five steals for the game, and he leads the nation in that category (36). Carter added a team-high nine rebounds.

It’s a defensive spotlight that seems to shine brightest on the kid from Maywood, Ill.

Yet there is so much more.

“He’s also going to be top 10, or so, in assists [at WVU],” Huggins said. “He’s going to be top 12, or maybe 10, in scoring.

“It’s a wonderful thing at a place like this to have any kind of school record, but I would just hate to see if that’s the only thing he’s remembered for. He’s done so many other things. He may very well go down as the all-time winningest player in school history. I just don’t want you to pigeon-hole him.”

That’s where Carter’s 25 points and six assists come into play.

With teammate Esa Ahmad suspended for the first half of the season, more offensive responsibility has been thrown at Carter.

The results? He’s averaging 19 points a game, is shooting 91 percent from the foul line and is second on the team with 20 3-pointers.

“You see the stat sheet,” said WVU forward Lamont West, who added 13 points. “It’s pretty much like that every game. He’s got an all-around game. He’s an all-around good player.”

Carter nailed four 3-pointers during an 11-minute stretch in the first half that turned a 12-10 deficit into a 39-26 lead.

Teddy Allen showed a strong presence on the inside, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the first half.

“Teddy wants to be a good player,” Huggins said. “The guy has lost 25 pounds. He will work at his craft. He’s just got to understand that there are two ends. It’s not just offense.”

WVU (7-1) sealed it with a 12-2 run to start the second half, but allowed NJIT (4-3) to score 34 points in the paint, much of it on drives to the basket.

“We can’t give up 34 points in the paint to those people,” Huggins said. “We can’t turn people loose the way we turned people loose today.”

James “Beetle” Bolden added four 3-pointers for 12 points and Wesley Harris chipped in 11.

WVU, which is on a seven-game winning streak after winning last week’s AdvoCare Invitational, surpassed 100 points for the second time this season. The Mountaineers held a 42-34 rebounding advantage.