Michigan State’s loaded 2017-18 roster just got even better.
The Spartans announced Monday afternoon that forward Ben Carter has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA and will play for Michigan State next season. Carter initially came to East Lansing ahead of the 2016-17 season as a grad transfer from UNLV, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason. The undisclosed injury, which required surgery, was the second injury to his left knee in less than a year; he also tore his left ACL during the 2015-16 campaign while at UNLV.
— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) May 8, 2017
“I feel blessed. First of all, I want to thank the NCAA for granting the waiver, and everyone at Michigan State, especially in the compliance office, for all their hard work,” Carter said in a news release. “I honestly didn’t know if the waiver would be granted, but I kept praying that I would be able to play one more year of college basketball.
“When I first decided to transfer to MSU, I thought it would be just a quick eight-month stop. I never imagined I would form the strong bonds with my teammates that I have. Everyone embraced me as part of the family, even after my injury, and that only makes me more excited for next year. I look forward to finishing my master’s, and helping the team in any way I can.”
Carter began his college basketball career in the 2012-13 season at Oregon, where he played two seasons before transferring to UNLV. Throughout his career, the 6-foot-9 forward has averaged 4.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, but he accounted for 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in 24.0 minutes per game before that torn ACL in his lone season with the Running Rebels.
Carter will give the Spartans depth in their front court, where they return forwards Miles Bridges and Nick Ward and add two more forwards in the 2017 recruiting class: Jaren Jackson and Xavier Tillman. Big man Gavin Schilling, who also missed last season due to injury, will return, as well.
“Despite being injured all of last season, he was a positive addition to our team,” Tom Izzo said of Carter in the release. “Ben was a great teammate and looked for any way he could to contribute, never missing a practice. He’s worked extremely hard on his rehab, and still has a lot more work to do, but I’m happy that he’ll get a chance to take the court with us next season while also being able to finish his master’s degree. After two knee injuries there are never any guarantees, but I’m hoping that he’ll be able to contribute a little bit on the court and a lot off it.”