Rutgers guard to transfer to UF


Guard Eli Carter is following a similar path to Mike Rosario, transferring from Rutgers to Florida. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 3:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 3:10 p.m.

Another offseason, another big-time transfer for the Florida men’s basketball team.

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Guard Eli Carter is following a similar path to Mike Rosario, transferring from Rutgers to Florida. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Former Rutgers guard Eli Carter announced on his Twitter account Tuesday that he’s attending Florida, a day after visiting the UF campus. The transfer will be made official pending paperwork which should be completed by the end of the week.

“I’m excited for him,” said St. Anthony’s (N.J.) head coach Bob Hurley, who coached Carter in high school. “He’s going into a situation where he’ll be able to continue to develop as a player. He loved the visit. He thinks this is going to be a good situation for him.”

A 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, Carter averaged 14.9 points per game for Rutgers last season before it ended in mid-February with a broken leg. A two-year starter, Carter scored a career-high 31 points against Florida as a freshman in Rutgers’ 85-83 double-overtime win.

“They’re getting a guy who is a veteran, a late developer who has his best basketball ahead of him,” Hurley said.

Hurley said he thinks Carter will benefit from playing under UF coach Billy Donovan, similar to the way another Rutgers transfer, guard Mike Rosario, improved in his two years in Gainesville. If there’s a knock on Carter early in his career, it’s been his tendency to force shots and drives that aren’t there. His career assist-to-turnover ratio is 2.1 to 2.8.

“Billy could certainly tighten up his game,” Hurley said. “When you play for a losing team, there is a different approach when it comes to shot selection compared to when you are part of a team with more talent around you. You don’t have to take on that responsibility. Eli can do more by doing less (shooting).”

Under NCAA rules, Carter would have to sit out next season, though he could apply for a waiver to be eligible to play in 2013-14 due to the Mike Rice scandal at Rutgers. Rice was fired after video evidence was released that showed him physically abusing players in practice.

Carter’s father, Dale Carter, said Tuesday that his son has already started the waiver application through Rutgers. From there, the application will move on to the NCAA offices in Indianapolis.

Dale Carter accompanied his son on the trip to Gainesville.

“He loved everything about it, the school, the facilities,” Carter said. “And he felt a real bond with the guys on the team. They approached him and made him feel like family.”

If granted a waiver, Carter could potentially play right away in a three-guard starting lineup that could include senior Scottie Wilbekin and incoming McDonald’s All-American freshman Kasey Hill.

Carter joins forward Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech) and center Damontre Harris (South Carolina) as transfers on UF’s roster. The Gators have had success with transfers of late. Center Vernon Macklin (Georgetown) helped lead UF to the first of three straight Elite Eights in 2010-11. Rosario averaged a team-high 12.5 points this past season and played for back-to-back Elite Eight teams in 2012 and 2013.

When Carter signs, Florida will fill its maximum of 13 scholarship spots for the 2013-14 season.

Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or brockwk@gvillesun.com. Also check out Brockway's blog at Gatorsports.com.

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