Carter talks Gamecocks commitment
When Chico Carter entered the transfer portal in mid-March, he had plenty of schools reach out to him.
But only one was his hometown school.
The guard who played his high school basketball at Cardinal Newman in Columbia and started his college career at Murray State committed to South Carolina over the weekend with the local factor a big part.
“Of course being a hometown kid, it’s right in my back yard literally. Really I saw the opportunity to come in and play the point guard role,” Carter told GamecockCentral. “I believe in coach (Frank) Martin’s vision he has for the program. That really set it apart from other schools.”
Carter committed to the Gamecocks because of it being a hometown school but of Martin’s pitch to him about coming in and playing point guard and helping run the team next season.
“Really having trust in his point guard and having a good relationship with his point guard,” Carter said. “That’s what I look for and what we’re both looking for. That was really one of my top wants in looking for a new program to have that opportunity.”
Carter started his collegiate career at Murray state where he played in 48 games with 11 starts, nine of which came at the end of this season.
He’s coming off a year where he set a few career highs, averaging 12.7 points for the Racers while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 44.2 percent from three.
“I would say I learned a lot about myself and my game from the transition from high school and college,” Carter said. “I definitely improved my shooting from high school to college and my decision making as well. My weakness was just the transition part. That was a big jump from me from high school to college.”
Carter, who didn’t play much point guard this year but did as a freshman, had an efficiency rating of 107.1 this year, which would be second on this year’s South Carolina team behind Wildens Leveque.
“Definitely I’m going to be that point guard that leads the team, that gets the teammates involved that can score the ball and brings the fans to their feet,” Carter said.
The goal for Carter, he said, is to continue to work on his body and get stronger and faster before getting on campus while staying healthy. The SEC is a jump up from Murray State and the Ohio Valley and Carter thinks he’s up for it.
“I’m definitely going to have to guard for coach Martin,” he said. “South Carolina is definitely predicated for the defense then getting out in transition and running. I definitely I can bring that to the table.”
Carter certainly fills a void the Gamecocks need after losing Trae Hannibal and TJ Moss to the transfer portal and Jermaine Couisnard testing NBA draft waters.
And it’s icing on the cake for Carter to do it in the same city he play his high school basketball in a few years ago.
“Knowing you have the city behind you and knowing there’s a lot of great people in the city and knowing South Carolina’s men’s basketball program has a great fan base,” he said. “Being a hometown kid is really exciting for me.”