MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–On Thursday, the Memphis Grizzlies drafted Jevon Carter with the 32nd overall pick in the second round of the NBA Draft. It was the moment the former West Virginia standout and Mountaineer fans had been patiently waiting for.
Making an NBA roster is never easy but Carter has the potential for success in the professional ranks.
No, he will most likely never be a Lebron James or Steph Curry but he could have a good career with Memphis.
“He doesn’t stand out because of his athleticism or his shooting or his offensive game, it’s because he’s just the toughest dude on the floor,” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said. “He’s going to make it in the NBA just because he has more want to than just about anybody he ever plays against.”
During his tenure at WVU, the Maywood, Ill. native became the first major conference player in college basketball history to reach 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals.
In his senior season, Carter averaged 17.3 points per game. He led the Mountaineers with 246 assists and led the nation in steals with 112, earning numerous awards on and off the court. By far, he was the heart and soul of the WVU basketball team.
While the 6-foot-2, 205-pound guard excelled offensively for the Mountaineers, he was the face of Press Virginia. He led the team with 98 turnovers and his in-your face defense helped limit damage of some of Big 12’s top stars.
Day in and day out, Carter worked hard and became one of the nation’s most respected defenders. He was the best on-ball defender, earning him 2018 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 along with many other defensive honors.
“Now Jevon Carter, you can’t get more grit and grind than him,” Memphis General Manage and West Virginia native Chris Wallace said. “He’s from another toughness work ethic program at West Virginia. He was the best backcourt defensive player in the country and just has a tremendous will to win and compete. You see that even in his workouts.”
And the Proviso East High School alum should mesh perfectly with the Grizzlies and their grind and grit. Carter and first round pick Jaren Jackson Jr., another skilled defensive asset, should make and immediate impact.
“We got two exceptional defensive players,” Wallace said. “We got the best shot-blocker in the draft in Jaren Jackson, got the best perimeter defender in Jevon Carter. Got two great intangible guys with a lot of room to grow.
“I think we got a shot at grit-n-grind back tonight.”
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS