Carter Embracing Starting Point Guard Role
Carter, a rookie out of Baylor, started the season with the Tulsa 66ers coming off of the bench behind point guard Zabian Dowdell.
On Jan. 9, Dowdell was signed by the Phoenix Suns and the starting spot fell on Carter’s shoulders. He knew what he needed to bring to the team every day in order to be successful.
“Energy all the time,” Carter said. “If I’m the starter or not, I try to come out with energy. I try to stay energized when I’m on the floor but also on the bench. The more you keep guys going the harder they play.”
When 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts received word that his starting point guard was being signed by the Suns, he had total confidence in Carter because of his work ethic and his desire to get better.
“Roles are ever-changing, especially in this league when guys are coming and going,” Tibbetts said. “He is willing to do what it takes to help the team win games.”
Carter said, along with the added responsibility of being a starter, his increased playing time has also given him more opportunities to further develop and improve his skills on the court.
“Most definitely the minutes have helped me improve,” Carter said. “Any time you get more minutes you have to make the most of them. Right now, the team is working hard to improve each and every day and we know we have to stick together.”
As a starter, Carter is averaging 16 points, 4.5 assists and a steal per game. Last Saturday, Carter helped lead the 66ers to a 100-95 come-from-behind victory with 21 points, including a 6-9 tally from beyond the arc.
“We just keep coming out with energy,” Carter said. “As far as starting practice, just come out with the same energy and treat every day as a game with no letdowns. We could’ve had a letdown in our last game at New Mexico when we were down 15 points but we stuck together and rallied as a team.”
But it is what does not show up in the box score that has helped Carter become successful in the starting lineup: energy and effort.