Guard Eli Carter, who left Rutgers amid the turmoil surrounding embattled former coach Mike Rice, announced Tuesday on Twitter that he would transfer to Florida, choosing the Gators over Maryland in his final two.
Proud to announce that I will be continuing my career at the University of Florida !! #Gators
— Eli Carter (@Eli_Carter5) April 30, 2013
The announcement comes as little surprise. Though Carter had Maryland ties — Mark Turgeon recruited the 6-foot-2 sophomore while at Texas A&M — many still expected him to become a Gator. After listing Maryland and Florida as his two finalists, Carter cancelled a reportedly scheduled visit to College Park. He visited Gainesville last week.
Carter led the Scarlet Knights last season with 14.9 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting over 24 games. Given the circumstances surrounding his departure, it’s expected Carter will receive an NCAA hardship waiver, making him immediately eligible.
Maryland, which had starting point guard Pe’Shon Howard announce his transfer in early April, had been linked to three transfers this offseason. With Carter off the board, attention likely turns to George Mason’s Vertrail Vaughns, who reportedly visited Maryland on Tuesday, and Memphis guard Antonio Barton.
Both would be one-year rentals per the NCAA’s graduate student rule, which makes such transfers immediately eligible. Barton, who left the Tigers over playing time issues, averaged just 5.6 points over 26 games last season. Vaughns is a lifetime 38.5 percent three-point shooter whose minutes dipped from 25.3 to 15.3 per game between his redshirt sophomore and junior seasons with the Patriots.