Unlike some underclassmen who are testing the NBA Draft waters under new rules that would allow them to return to school with their NCAA eligibility intact, Robert Carter Jr. officially won't be back at Maryland next season.
Carter announced Thursday that he has entered his name in the NBA Draft and will sign with an agent, meaning he will forego his senior season with the Terps.
“I want to thank the University of Maryland community and all of the fans for their support during my two years at Maryland,” Carter said in the school's announcement. “I also want to thank coach (Mark) Turgeon, my teammates and the entire Maryland basketball program for everything they have done for me. The University of Maryland will always be a special place to both me and my family. I will forever be a Terp.”
Carter transferred in from Georgia Tech and sat out the 2014-15 season before playing a critical role for the Terps this past season. Maryland reached the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in 13 years thanks in part to Carter, who ranked third on the team with 12.3 points per game and led the team with 6.9 rebounds per game.
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“I enjoyed the opportunity to coach Robert the past two years,” Turgeon said in the announcement. “During his redshirt year, he worked extremely hard to improve his conditioning and expand his overall game. This past year, Robert was a very productive player and embraced his role as a team leader. I am proud that he achieved his goal and will graduate with a degree in Family Science from Maryland and can now begin to pursue a career in professional basketball.”
New rules allow underclassmen to test the NBA Draft process, to declare without hiring an agent, which allows them to participate in workouts with NBA teams and in the NBA Draft Combine before making a final decision ahead of a May 25 deadline. Carter won't be taking advantage of those rules, which make it easier for players to better gauge their future.
The latest mock draft from DraftExpress.com has Carter projected as the No. 51 pick.
It has been expected that Turgeon would lose at least one player to early entry into the draft. Carter's departure makes it a guaranteed three starters from this year's team that won't be back next season. Jake Layman and Rasheed Sulaimon will be lost to graduation. Maryland is still awaiting the NBA decisions of sophomore point guard Melo Trimble and freshman center Diamond Stone.
Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.
Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football.
"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.
"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.
"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline."
Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."
"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.
"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."
Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.
Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.
As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.
Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.
The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.