Carter coming up big for Mississippi State

Tyson Carter

Staff Writer

Tyson Carter didn’t shy away from the moment.

On Friday night, the former Starkville High player and current Mississippi State guard saw his teammate and fellow guard Nick Weatherspoon go down with an ankle injury very early in Friday’s game against Long Beach State.

That meant Carter would be forced into an even bigger role than usual. He was ready for the challenge and continued what is quickly becoming a breakout season.

“Nick is a big part of our team offensively and defensively,” Carter said after Friday’s game. “I knew I had big shoes to fill.”

Carter indeed came up huge for MSU on Friday. He notched a season-high 17 points, tied a career best with six rebounds and also had four assists to help lead the Bulldogs to a 79-51 win over the 49ers.

Three games into Mississippi State’s young season, solid showings from Carter have been a common occurrence. He’s reached double figures in scoring in all three games. The junior is looking as comfortable as ever before on the court at the college level.

“It’s just a lot of hours put in during the offseason preparing for this year,” Carter said.

Carter’s game has evolved. He came to the Bulldogs with a reputation as a top-tier shooter. He can still fill up the basket, as he did on Nov. 11 when he hit four 3-pointers against Hartford. However Carter has now become a player that doesn’t strictly rely on his long-range shot. It’s allowed the Bulldogs to rely on him in any number of situations.

“It’s very important (to not just rely on 3-pointers) because sometimes we can get in scoring droughts and stuff like that,” Carter said.

Carter’s scoring ways aren’t all that’s evolving. He’s averaging three steals per game this year. On Friday, he hit the five-assist mark for just the second time in his career.

MSU head coach Ben Howland said he’s just as impressed with how Carter continues to grow as a defensive player and how he is sharing the basketball.

“I am really impressed with him defensively and how he has played this year defensively,” Howland said of Carter. “He is an outstanding passer. He makes plays for others and is very good at seeing the floor.”

Carter’s year is only just getting started. He’s going to have plenty of further opportunities to continue his growth and development. His next opportunity to shine comes Monday night at 10 p.m. when MSU faces Arizona State in the MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas.

It’s often said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. However the Bulldogs are hoping what’s been happening in StarkVegas for Carter indeed travels westward to the bigger Vegas.

“Every night we’re depending on Tyson without question,” Howland said.