Missouri State-West Plains CC forward Paul Carter did not even need a visit to decide where he wanted to play his final two seasons. When Tubby Smith offered, Carter pulled the trigger on a commitment to Minnesota.
"Paul had a conference call last evening with both of his parents and has made a verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota," said MS-West Plains coach Brian Ostermann. "He called coach Tubby Smith last night. He will sign his letter of intent in November."
Carter signed out of high school with Connors State (OK), but transferred to West Plains in the second semester last year. He will be a freshman and will have three years to play for the Gophers.
"Paul had some very good options but to play for Tubby Smith is truly an honor. Coach Smith has won a national championship and is one of the best coaches in the country," Ostermann said. "He is arguably the most respected coach in the nation. He is president of the National Basketball Coaches Association and he was just involved in selecting our Olympic basketball team. Paul and his family have been completely sold on coach Smith."
Among those options were Wyoming, Charlotte, Baylor, Missouri State and Kansas State, all of whom sent coaches to watch Carter play over the summer. The 6-foot-8, 190-pounder gained a lot of exposure when he impressed at Jerry Mullen's juco showcase in Tulsa in July.
"Due to the recent top 120 camp in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I have received a lot of interest from various division 1 programs around the country. Minnesota was one of the schools showing early interest," Carter said. "When I was younger my brothers and always used to watch college basketball. Kentucky was one of my favorite teams growing up, as a young Kentucky fan I always thought it would be amazing and a true blessing to play for coach Smith."