The Dominion Post  

All-star game provided glimpse of Carter, Miles Jr.

Created on:   Sun, Feb 25, 2018   8:58 PM

Last modified:   Sun, Feb 25, 2018   8:58 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Sometimes it’s at the end when it is fun to look at the beginning.

Daxter Miles Jr. and Jevon Carter certainly have some key moments remaining in their senior seasons beyond the matchup against No. 6 Texas Tech (22-7, 10-6 Big 12), at 9 p.m. on Feb. 26, but this will mark as the duo’s final home game inside the WVU Coliseum.

“Not sure what I’m going to think about that,” Carter said. “I don’t want it to be over yet.”

And so we go back to the beginning for the pair of guards who have left their mark on WVU’s record books and all-time scoring lists ... to their first-ever meeting, which came in April of 2014, when both players participated in the Scott Brown Classic, in Beckley.

“I remember we went out to eat and just started chopping it up,” Miles said. “From there, we pretty much stayed in contact every day.”

Miles said the two hit it off instantly the day before the all-star game, making a connection through similar urban backgrounds.

Carter grew up in Maywood, Ill., a short train ride from Chicago; Miles from Baltimore, Md.

They came together that day in Beckley as future WVU teammates, but were on opposing teams for the all-star game.

Little did we know that details of that game would provide so much insight into their college careers.

According to published reports from that game, one of the first highlights from Carter came with — what else — a steal.

“One thing I remember is he literally [guarded] me 90 feet for the entire game, Miles said of Carter, who is WVU’s all-time leader with 303 steals. “That was funny, because I didn’t know he was going to play that way.”

Carter’s career is not one defined of pure defense, but it has become his calling card.

Three times Carter has been named to the Big 12’s all-defensive team and he was named the national defensive Player of the Year last season.

“He picked me up 90 feet and that’s when I knew he was going to be a great defender,” Miles continued.

The thought of that game then brings a smile to Miles, who isn’t about to let his friend’s defensive pressure steal all the highlights of the memory.

“I still had, like, 30 that game,” Miles said.

And this is where it kind of gets fun between the two.

Miles did score 26 and led his team to a 108-105 victory over Carter’s team.

That all comes with an asterisk, of sorts, according to Carter.

“He didn’t get 30 off of me,” Carter said while laughing at the notion. “He started killing it when I switched off of him. I was locking him up.”

According to the game story from The Dominion Post, Miles did begin the game 0 for 11 from the field.

True to Miles’ form — he’s ninth all-time at WVU with 481 3-point attempts — a bad start was not going to keep him from shooting.

He nailed nine of his next 14 and finished with 26 points and nine assists.

Carter had 21 points, five rebounds and four assists. In another oddity, Carter was a teammate of Josh Perkins that day, who played against the Mountaineers last season as a part of Gonzaga’s roster.

Carter and Miles will now walk down the gold and blue carpet one final time today, both of them surrounded with family who have supported them throughout their lives.

“My family has seen me play here a lot and they’ve supported me a lot,” said Miles, who has 1,175 points to his credit. “It’s going to be special for them also. They’ve never had the chance to walk out on that carpet before.”

Their careers have brought exactly 100 wins to the Mountaineers (21-8, 10-6). One more today would put WVU alone in second place in the Big 12 standings with just one final regular season game remaining (March 3, at Texas).

As far as the Big 12 tournament, the Mountaineers would have to finish with a better record than the Red Raiders to earn the No. 2 seed, because Texas Tech owns the tiebreaker. WVU can finish no higher than the No. 2 seed.

During their careers, Carter and Miles have helped WVU finish no lower than fourth in the Big 12 and the Mountaineers have advanced to the Big 12 tournament finals the past two seasons.

“I’ve thought about that a little bit,” Miles said. “I’m glad that we were able to bring some success here. That’s what we came here to do. Hopefully, it will carry on once we’re gone.”