Men's Basketball Star Selected as Finalist

June 1, 1998

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Keith Carter, a senior guard on the Ole Miss men's basketball team, has been named one of 17 finalists for the 1998 USA Basketball Men's National Team, USA Basketball Goodwill Games head coach Clem Haskins announced on Monday. The 17 finalists came from a pool of 31 collegiate players who participated in the national team trials this past weekend.

The 17 finalists will now compete for 12 spots on the Goodwill Games team during the squad's training camp which will be held July 6-12 on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

"I'm very happy and excited for Keith," said Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes. "This is a prime example of a player working hard to make himself better. Obviously, we feel that Keith is one of the top players in the country, and he proved that by being selected as a finalist for the USA National Team.

"We are very honored to have a player of Keith's caliber here at Ole Miss, and I feel sure that he will do his best to represent himself, the basketball program and the University in a positive light. He is very deserving of this honor."

The Perryville, Ark., native was named to the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference second team following his junior campaign in 1997-98. He was second on the squad in scoring with a 14.8 average and was third in rebounding with a 6.2 average. Carter scored the 1,000th point of his career in the Rebels' win over Vanderbilt on Feb. 11, and finished the season with 1,140 points which places him in the No. 17 spot on the Rebel career scoring chart.

The 6-foot-4 guard finished the 1997-98 season ranked among the SEC leaders in four statistical categories. Carter was seventh in scoring (14.8 ppg), 13th in rebounding (6.2 rpg), eighth in three-point field goal percentage (37.2 percent) and seventh in free throw percentage (76.6 percent). Carter's 6.2 rebounding average was tops among guards in the conference.

"This young man opened up the eyes of everyone at the trials with his athletic ability," said Haskins, who is also the head coach at the University of Minnesota. "He's a tough guy, and he can rebound the ball. He's one of those 6-4 guys who, when they step on the court, become about 6-8 or 6-9. He is a tremendous shooter and an excellent rebounder. Keith is a fine basketball player."

Carter is one of four SEC players to be selected among the 17 finalists. Georgia's Jumaine Jones, Kentucky's Scott Padgett and South Carolina's BJ McKie were also selected as finalists for the Goodwill Games Team.

The USA Goodwill Games Team will be USA Basketball's top men's collegiate squad this year. The 1998 Goodwill Games will be held July 19-24 at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., and the USA Team will open play on July 19 against Puerto Rico. Prior to games in New York, the Goodwill Games squad will play the 1998 USA Basketball Men's World Championship Team, comprised of players from the NBA, in an exhibition game on July 14 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

The 17 finalists are: Penn State's Calvin Booth, Duke's Elton Brand, Ole Miss' Keith Carter, Connecticut's Khalid El-Amin, Georgia Tech's Dion Glover, Indiana's A.J. Guyton, Oklahoma's Ryan Humphrey, Georgia's Jumaine Jones, Massachusetts' Lari Ketner, Minnesota's Quincy Lewis, UNLV's Shawn Marion, South Carolina's BJ McKie, Utah's Andre Miller, Kentucky's Scott Padgett, Xavier's James Posey, Tulsa's Michael Ruffin and Miami's (Ohio) Wally Szczerbiak.

This is the second straight year that a member of the Rebel basketball program has been involved with USA Basketball team trials. Last summer, All-America Ansu Sesay was a member of the USA Basketball World University Games Team that played in Italy. Sesay averaged 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in helping lead the USA squad to the gold medal.

 

 

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