Mississippi State’s 2016 recruiting class cracked the top 25 rankings on Tuesday after picking up a commitment from four-star Starkville product Tyson Carter.
The 6-foot-4, 165 pound point guard announced his decision in his high school’s library in front of his teammates, coaches and family. After taking official visits to Mississippi State, Memphis, Arizona State and Miami, Carter said his decision came down to the Bulldogs and the Hurricanes. Ultimately, Ben Howland’s up-tempo offense and the coach’s track record of developing guards for the NBA won out.
“I just feel like it was the best place for me as far as style of play and how I can fit in,” Carter said. “Coach (Ben) Howland is a really good coach to play for. He’s put a lot of guys in the NBA and I feel like it’s a privilege to play for him.
“It was really appealing because just the way they played at UCLA, the style of play is really up and down and fun to watch. It would be really fun to be a part of.”
Carter’s commitment is the third for Howland and his staff in 2016. Carter joins four-star point guard Lamar Peters (Landry-Walker) and four-star shooting guard Eli Wright (22 Ft. Academy) in the Bulldogs current recruiting class, which jumped from No. 44 nationally to No. 23 in the 247Sports composite recruiting rankings.
Carter runs the point for his high school team and excelled as a shooting guard on the AAU circuit. Next year, Carter says Mississippi State expects to play him as a point guard after he puts on 20 to 25 pounds. The amount of guards the Bulldogs will graduate and lose to the NBA Draft from the 2015-16 team also played a factor in his decision.
“I feel like I can fit in with them because they lose a lot of guards from this year’s team and they have to get guys to fill those guys shoes,” he said. “I feel like I can do that.”
Carter is a Mississippi State legacy. His father and high school coach, Greg Carter, played for the Bulldogs from 1987-91. The four-star prospect says the legacy element wasn’t the biggest factor in his decision but certainly played a role.
“It means a lot just following in my dad’s footsteps,” he said. “I grew up knowing he played for Mississippi State and he was very successful. It makes me want to go out there and do the same.”
Carter led the Yellowjackets to the MHSAA Class 6A championship during the 2014-15 season by averaging 17 points, five rebounds and two assists per game. He is ranked the No. 2 player in Mississippi, the No. 15 shooting guard and No. 91 player in 2016 according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The Starkville standout is also AAU teammates with four-star small forward Mario Kegler, a Mississippi native who is playing his senior season at Oak Hill Academy (Va.). Kegler is another top priority for the Bulldogs in 2016 and with Mississippi State expecting to sign six players in its 2016 class, Carter says he hopes Kegler will join him in Starkville.
“Me and Mario Kegler have a pretty good relationship because Mississippi State is on his list, too,” he said. “We talk a lot.”