INDIANAPOLIS – Anyone recruiting Wendell Carter knows academics are very important to the five-star center from Atlanta. Exhibit A: The No. 3 overall prospect in the Class of 2017 will take his first official visit this fall to Harvard.
The Crimson are among Carter’s top three college choices, along with more established basketball powerhouses Duke and Kentucky. Although not quite Ivy League, the Blue Devils have their own impressive academic reputation.
So what are the Wildcats are selling to address that important aspect of his recruitment?
“I don’t know how to answer that,” said the 6-foot-10, 240-pound Carter, laughing. “Of course they’re a great basketball school, but they’re not the worst academic school ever. They’re still up there in terms of academics.”
Not the worst ever is hardly a ringing endorsement, but to be fair, Kentucky was one of only two Southeastern Conference basketball programs to record a perfect 1,000 score in the NCAA’s latest Academic Progress Rate report and ranked among the top 10 percent in Division I.
Three scholarship players made the winter SEC Academic Honor Roll, including starter Alex Poythress, who graduated in three years and is working on a master’s degree. UK senior academic counselor Michael Stone is one of the most respected members of his profession.
These are all things Cats coach John Calipari will surely share with Carter when he visits – with five-star friend Gary Trent Jr., a guard he hopes to play with in college – for Big Blue Madness in October.
Carter want to see “what the atmosphere is like during big games (at Rupp Arena), how the fans treat their players and them coming out and filling up the gym,” he said. “Then, of course, I want to see some of the things they do off the court. I plan on going back again during school so I can see how school goes. I don’t want it to just be on the court, but also off the court.”
Carter averaged 18.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in four games during the second stop of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League in Indianapolis over the weekend.
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Kyle Tucker can be reached at (502) 582-4361. Email him at email@example.com .