Before the season began, I wrote that Kansas State guard Cam Carter would be among the team’s breakout players.
The reasoning was not that he wasn’t good a year ago — Carter averaged 6.5 points per game last season but had promising moments — but rather that there was a second level for him to reach.
Through three games, Carter has almost exceeded that second level.
Carter is averaging 19 points per game for the Wildcats while shooting a blistering 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. He’s been K-State’s best player so far and has made a legitimate claim to be considered for a Big 12 All-Conference team.
A bit too far?
Maybe. It’s only been three games, and two were against mid-major programs.
But that’s also how good Carter has been for the Wildcats.
In K-State’s win over South Dakota State — a team many expect to make the NCAA Tournament — Carter was the perfect blend of efficient scorer, strong defender, and unexpected playmaker.
There was a brilliance to his game. It was a fully embraced effort by Carter to turn good offense into strong defense, and he held South Dakota State’s Zeke Mayo to 11 points.
“I know Cam had a career-high, but I was more pleased with what he did on the defensive end,” head coach Jerome Tang said after the game. “[Zeke] Mayo was averaging 28 coming in and he’s a heck of a player. And some of it was him missing shots he normally made, but a lot of it was Cam really being locked in on that.”
Carter held Mayo to an offensive rating of 80 — which roughly means that Mayo produced 80 points per 100 possessions — which was the lowest of his season. For comparison, Mayo had a stretch of 12 straight games last season where his offensive rating was above 100.