A very sad situation looks like it will bring a talented player back to Chicago. Minnesota's Paul Carter is looking to transfer to a school in the Windy City to be closer to his 14-year-old sister Bria who is suffering from cancer.
The Star-Tribune said that Carter is looking to transfer to one of the four Chicago schools he'd be eligible to play at next season with a hardship waiver. Those are DePaul, UIC, Loyola and Chicago State. Carter is scheduled to graduate with a degree in communications in May from Minnesota, but he'll still have a year of eligibility remaining on the basketball court.
Last season Carter, a 6'8" forward, averaged 6.3 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game in 15.2 minutes per game for the Golden Gophers. He is a talent that could certainly add a few wins to any of the mid-major schools in Chicago. He could also certainly help Oliver Purnell ramp up his rebuilding project in Chicago.
The question becomes, who has the space for Carter on their roster?
UIC had four scholarship players run out of eligibility, but the Flames have four already set to come to Chicago. Likewise for the Ramblers, while Aric Van Weelden and Marcus Thomas are graduating in the spring Loyola has lined up Flavien Davis and Jon Gac for next season.
Before Purnell took over at DePaul the Blue Demons already had a full roster, but is it possible that he'll see an opportunity, or have a recruit that's not interested in playing his system, and Carter will end up in the Big East? It's certainly possible. For now though Moses Morgan, Brandon Young and Walter Pitchford are scheduled to take the three remaining scholarships for the Blue Demons.
That leaves Chicago State, which is an intriguing possibility. To be honest, I was a little surprised when Carter mentioned the Cougars as an option, but if he were to go there Chicago State would immediately become the favorite in the Great West Conference. The Cougars would have legitimate size with Carl Montgomery and Carter in the post. Brandan Smith is the only Chicago State player that graduated at the end of the last season, but I believe that Marquis Young has also run out of eligibility. Benjy Taylor might have a spot for Carter.
It will be interesting to see how this develops. It is certainly a difficult situation. Good luck to Paul and Bria and the rest of the Carter family in this tough time.