In the words of Leesville Road head coach Russ Frazier, his best player, Carter Whitt, would never pass the eye test.
Before games fans are constantly walking up to Frazier and asking about the dynamic guard they’ve heard so much about. A quick scan of the Pride getting off of the bus or in the layup line and chances are that fan would be wrong if they had to pick out Frazier’s top scorer.
“I tell them it’s the kid with the curly hair over there,” Frazier said. “You’ll know who he is when the game starts.”
After Leesville Road’s 82-63 win over Raleigh Trinity Academy in the first round of the John Wall Holiday Invitational, basketball fans know who Whitt is. Whitt filled the stat sheet against the Tigers, scoring 21 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out seven assists in 31 minutes of action.
Frazier said that’s just another day at the office for Whitt, the No. 3 player in North Carolina in the class of 2021.
Whitt was an All-Metro selection as a freshman, nearly averaging a double-double. As a freshman he finished with six triple-doubles, often making Frazier do a double-take at the stat sheet.
“He plays the game so well sometimes you forget he’s shooting and scoring,” Frazier said. “He rebounds the ball at a high volume. He plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played. He boxes out and gets a lot of rebounds.The assists come with the flow of the game and his points come in the flow. That’s something that makes him a special player.”
When Whitt heard his stats after the win, the first words out of his mouth were, “I feel like I could have gotten a lot more rebounds.”
Seven defensive rebounds for a combo guard isn’t unheard of, neither are the 21 points on 7 of 19 shooting from the floor. In fact, Whitt said the performance was just “another day.” The stat-stuffing performance has become the norm for the 6-3 guard, who holds offers from Virginia, Ole Miss, High Point, Liberty and Middle Tennessee State.
Whitt hopes the tournament is a chance to boost his stock across the country if he plays well the next three days.
“I just need to take advantage of the opportunities I have to prove myself,” Whitt said.
Only a sophomore, Whitt has room for growth, but Frazier can’t imagine what his stat sheets will look like in another two years. For now, the veteran coach sends a message to those who might overlook his guard.
“I’ll say this, I think he’s the best point guard in North Carolina,” Frazier said. “Nationally, people need to take (notice) because what he does in a basketball game, you can’t put it on a stat sheet. As he gets older, as he matures, look out. We need everybody to understand that this is not a finished product.”
Frazier feels like Whitt doesn’t get the national credit because he plays the game “simple.” Whitt might flash a behind-the-back pass, or a crossover that draws a big reaction from the crowd, but because he’s not dunking on people, he doesn’t get the hype as some other players.
“He doesn’t need to do all that,” Frazier said. “He plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played. That’s not the popular thing these days. He’s got a mid-range game, he can shoot the three, he can handle the ball. People don’t look at the little parts. But when you start putting together a basketball player, he has the DNA for it.”