Crusaders nab Mr. Illinois runner-up

2013-01-16T19:00:00Z Crusaders nab Mr. Illinois runner-upPaul Oren Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 16, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | Bryce Drew has had plenty of recruiting success in his first two seasons at the helm of the Valparaiso men's basketball program.

Drew snagged perhaps his biggest recruit when former Chicago high school star Keith Carter decided to transfer from St. Louis to Valparaiso.

Carter informed the coaching staff of his decision on Tuesday night and the school officially announced the transfer after Carter finalized his enrollment for the spring semester on Wednesday morning.

"I like that Valparaiso is close to home and that my family will be able to come and watch me," Carter said. "The coaches have been great. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to make the NCAA tournament."

Carter scored nine points in three games for the Billikens this season, but was hampered by a leg injury. The Proviso East guard decided to transfer from St. Louis in the wake of the death of coach Rick Majerus.

Carter was an Associated Press First Team All-State player last season and finished runner-up to Duke commit Jabari Parker for Illinois Mr. Basketball.

"We're excited for Keith to join the Valpo family," Drew said. "He is a player who should have a big impact on our program."

Carter averaged more than 20 points per game while leading the Pirates to a 32-1 record last season. The six-foot point guard joins Valparaiso's five incoming freshmen in next season's recruiting class, though Carter will be attending classes beginning this week.

Carter will become eligible at the semester break next season and will have three years of eligibility.

"Keith will bring us experience next year as we are losing six seniors," Drew said. "He'll help bridge the gap as we bring along our incoming freshmen. We're excited to have Keith as a part of our program."

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