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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Tyson Carter shines in loss to Gamecocks

Olivia Zeringue | The Reflector

Freshman Tyson Carter scored his career high against South Carolina with 16 points. He averages 7.5 ppg so far this season.

From the time Ben Howland took the coaching job at Mississippi State University, hopes have been and continue to be high throughout the town of Starkville in men’s basketball. 

Even though this season has not been exactly what fans were hoping for, things are looking to take shape in, what looks like, a skillfully loaded basketball team for the next few years.  

 After the Bulldogs’ loss to South Carolina in a fascinating game of three point barrages and controversial calls, many hometown fans hung their heads. However, what seems to be more of a headliner than another tally in the loss column is the play of multiple young stars, specifically that of true freshman Tyson Carter.  

 Carter is a native of the Starkville community and graduated from Starkville High. Ever since he committed to play at Mississippi State, Bulldog fans look to him to be a key part in a potentially-loaded basketball team.  

 Carter came into the big game against the nationally ranked Gamecocks with limited experience in D-1 basketball. His minutes have been on the lesser side of things and he has never scored over 17 points in a single game. 

However, after some players picked up early fouls, Carter saw his opportunity. He was the sole factor in keeping the Bulldogs relevant in the game, and almost broke his own scoring record in the first half.

Carter banged home four three-point bombs in the first half along with a pair of dead-eye jumpers from mid-range, which combined for 16 points in the first half. Howland seemed excited for the young baller and his true dedication to the game.  

 “He played with a lot of confidence,” Howland said. “He’s been working hard and keeping a positive attitude at the same time.”  

 Carter’s scoring ability has always been evident, even in high school. Therefore, many fans have questioned Howland and even Carter himself as to why his minutes have been so meager up until now. Carter came out after Saturday’s game and responded with a maturity that few true freshman exhibit.  

 “That’s not the most important thing; offense is not the most important thing,” Carter said. “Defense is the main thing and I got to come in and do my best on defense.”

Carter’s defensive outing was not the best part of his game Saturday, but he did acquire both a block and a steal that helped add to the 11 turnovers South Carolina committed in the game. He said he thinks his defensive game has continued to get better as the season moves on.  

 Carter and the Bulldogs have come extremely close to winning some big time games this year, including a seven point loss to Kentucky that really was a nail biter until the last 45 seconds. He realizes how close they are to winning these big games and the potential they have of becoming a great team. He commented on what he thinks is missing in order for this team to reach their ultimate goal.  

 “It’s just the small mistakes, just the little things like missing an open shot or an open layup or not getting an offensive rebound that could be a big play in the game,” Carter said. 

 Carter however, did not make many of those small mistakes he talked about. He shot almost 62 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three point line during his 27 minutes on the floor.  

 Although the Bulldogs’ season at this point in time is not Cinderella-like, there is still plenty of basketball to be played, including a possible run in the SEC tournament. 

He understands the talent and ability this team has and how they continue to get better each and every week. This quickly developing athlete knows hope is not lost and that many good things are yet to come. 

At the end of his press conference Carter was asked just how close he thinks this team is from winning these big, nationally-televised games. He responded with a facial expression full of determination and unwillingness to give up that was almost frightening and said, “real close.”

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Tyson Carter shines in loss to Gamecocks