CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa men’s basketball received a verbal commitment Wednesday morning from 2019 Dubuque Senior forward Noah Carter.
“Being close to home is a pretty big factor,” Carter told The Gazette. “My mom talked to Coach (Ben) Jacobson and everything and she really enjoyed him as a coach. Coach Jacobson won (my mom) over and my family over so once that happened — and I always liked (UNI) — it just started to click from there.”
Among what’s considered a deep 2019 in-state class of prospects, Carter is held in high regard. The 6-foot-5 rising senior held offers from Lehigh, Air Force, South Dakota State, Drake, Truman State and UNI while receiving interest from high-major programs.
Carter said Jacobson and the staff view him as a positionless player with an opportunity to earn playing time right away.
“If I need to play the 3, or if I can play the 4 I’ll play either,” Carter said. “If I have a smaller guy on me I can get (into) the post. If I have a bigger guy on me I can get to the perimeter, so just playing like that.”
Carter averaged 18.3 points and 9.6 rebounds and shot 59.1 percent from the field and 52.4 percent from 3-point land in an injury-shortened season for the Rams. Carter missed almost two months with compartment syndrome after taking a teammate’s knee to his left thigh last November. Compartment syndrome develops from excessive pressure building inside a muscle space into the body, and had Carter and his parents not taken action when they did he would have been at risk of losing his leg.
Carter’s verbal commitment is the second for Ben Jacobson and the Panthers’ 2019 class after Garner GHV forward James Betz verbaled last July.
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“Coach Jacobson was telling me about how (the team) has been getting to the (NCAA) Tournament and the Sweet 16 and he keeps on telling me three more games is what he wants,” Carter said. “The Final Four and a national championship, and I’m right (there) along with him. And I think with the players they’ve been gathering and everything, I’m excited for it.”