Maryland had possibly the best starting 5 in the country, and Robert Carter Jr. greatly attributed to the NBA-like roster.
Listed at 6'9, 235 pounds, Carter, a transfer from Georgia Tech, improved his game when he made the transition to Maryland. He sat out a year due to NCAA rules, but that year helped Carter and would make him ready with a studded roster that awaited him. With Jake Layman, Rasheed Sulaimon, who transferred from Duke, blue chip Diamond Stone, and Melo Trimble, Carter averaged 12.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game on 59% shooting in his 2015-2016 at Maryland.
It's hard to really gauge Carter's full potential seeing as how he played only one year at Maryland, but while Carter did not put up his best numbers this past season, Carter did show glimpses of his talent and ability in the NBA Combine. Carter got 35 points and 14 rebounds in his two games in Chicago. Our very own Dakota Schmidt wrote about that performance last month:
Aside from Felder, Carter II may have boosted his draft stock the most with his play at the NBA Draft Combine. Over the course of the two days, the 6'8 forward displayed his potential as a pick-and-pop threat. He looked extremely comfortable shooting from the NBA 3-point line as he's able to quickly get up the shots with a smooth shooting stroke.
Alongside that, Carter displayed an ability to cut to the rim, launching jump hooks in the low-post and crashing the offensive glass. That versatility combined with his incredible 7'3 wingspan gives him potential to work as an NBA PF despite being undersized at 6'8. While there's going to be many talented players looking to get into the draft as 2nd round prospects, Carter might have solidified his spot with his performance at the Draft Combine.
One of Carter's strengths is that his play has some old school flair. His basketball IQ is high and it favors that of an NBA players in the late 80's. He's great in the low-post as he can throw in hook shots with both hands. As you can see in the clip below, Carter does a nice job of working in the left block and creating enough separation by launching this pretty hook shot.
Carter is an unpredictable player, as he's just as good of a shooter than he is through post-ups. Working with Melo Trimble, Carter was a great pick-and-roll player as he could cut his way to the paint or hit the mid-range or perimeter jumper. That perimeter stroke is showcased in the clip below
In this clip, Carter shows his assisting skills. Although being double teamed, Robert is focused all over the court, seeing an opportunity to pass. He throws the ball way over his shoulder, resulting in a catch and shoot 3 made by Rasheed Sulaimon. Again, Carter's awareness of the court is a proven strength of his.
While his post-up and shooting skills were nice, his explosiveness kept Terrapins excited throughout the entire season. Some of the best examples are shown below.
Carter does have his weaknesses. In the first half of the season, Carter was a monster with the blocks and on defense, but that spark started to wither away in the second half of the season. The one thing to look at is if Carter can keep up a consistent performance throughout the entire season. Another is his weight maintenance. Weight could have played a factor into his abilities on defense, because he had gained 15 pounds by the time of the combine. If he were to be drafted, he would need to slim down or it could affect his play.
Carter recently finished a workout with the Detroit Pistons this week, his twelfth pre-draft workout of the off-season. When asked his draft range, Carter stated that he could go either in the late first round or second round. Carter also said that his NBA role would be a "versatile forward."
All around it's simple: Carter is a player that can give you buckets. Don't be surprised if his name becomes a household one and ends up being compared to some of the greats from the past. .