Today Is D-Day For Jevon Carter
MORGANTOWN — D-Day traditionally is June 6, celebrating the Allies invasion of Europe that led to victory in World War II.
For former West Virginia basketball star Jevon Carter, D-Day is June 21.
Today is NBA Draft Day and it is expected that it will provide him with a lifelong march toward victory as he has powered his way into the NBA draft, most likely as a second-round selection.
Where he will be selected and by whom remains up in the air but there seems to be little doubt that he will be selected and have chance to be a solid NBA player, putting to end a long, hard journey built not on exception talent but on exception, will and desire.
Unlike so many of his basketball brethren, Carter was willing to put in as much as he hoped to take out of the game, and that included staying for his senior season when certainly there were forces trying to convince him to make the jump early.
He did so with an intelligent and egoless approach to his future, noting recently at a successful workout for the Philadelphia 76ers that he wasn’t ready “challenge wise” or “mentally” to step into the real world.
And what did staying at WVU for a final year do for him, besides earning him a second straight Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Award and a second-team All-America nomination.
“Honestly, it was just more experience,” Carter said at that post-workout press conference. “Putting myself in a lot of different situations, being able to be comfortable late in the game, just knowing time and score and making the right decisions. Just knowing a lot of stuff I didn’t know before that.”
No one can question that Carter’s decision to return made him an NBA player, and the 76ers seem quite interested in him.
“Jevon Carter stood out all summer (in predraft workouts),” said Elton Brand, the former Duke star now general manager of the Sixers. “Just because of his defense, really, really can play ‘D.’ His tenacity. And he’s made a lot of shots.
“We have a lot of intel on him,” Brand continued. “We were at the Villanova game (against West Virginia in the East Region semifinal), and he had one guard with six or seven turnovers, and it was because of him and his defensive tenacity.”
Defense is what distinguishes Carter’s game against all those who ride their offense to headlines and the NBA.
“I just pride myself on getting stops,” Carter said. “ feel like basketball is played on both ends. You gotta be able to want to guard. That way teams can’t key in on you like you are the weak link. Someone can’t look at me like I’m the weak link because I’m going to take that very personal.”
So, where will Carter end up and how high will he go in the draft?
There really is no consensus. It’s scattershot, for he is a player with specialized skills that will fit some systems and not others.
Here are what some of the mock drafts are saying about him and where they are placing him:
— Sports Illustrated: 76ers with the 38th pick
Carter would be the perfect complement for the offensive minded Ben Simmons, able to do defensive duty on the opponent’s point guard, which was a team weakness.
— 8points9seconds.com: Indiana Pacers, second round
“The second-round is a crapshoot in the NBA draft. But Jevon Carter could be as close to a sure thing as you can get for the Indiana Pacers.
“Looking around at 2018 NBA mock drafts around the internet, you can find West Virginia guard Jevon Carter in a lot of places. Some have him not getting drafted. Some have him going in the early second round. Either way, there is not a consensus on how talented Carter is, or how much potential he has.
“Look no further for the answer. Carter is good right now. And he has a future in the NBA.”
— CBSSports: Memphis Grizzlies with the 32nd pick
“Bob Huggins-coached player who embraces defense like a shark embraces blood. Memphis is the fit,” says CBSSports’ Matt Norlander.
— Arizona Sports: No pick, but an analysis of Carter
“Jevon Carter does not fit the mold of a modern NBA point guard. He looks different. He’s built different. He plays different.
“He’s at his best when the ball is in the opponent’s hands.
“In an era of free-flowing and high-scoring basketball, Carter plays a throwback brand. He focuses on defense first, guarding on the ball with relentless pressure. Scoring is a secondary concern.”
— The Ringer: No. 41 overall — Orlando Magic
“Again, the Magic need a point guard. They have multiple second round picks. Carter fits a lot of their needs.”