Robert Carter Jr. excited to play with former teammates, talks international career

Robert Carter Jr. officially signed with Shell Shock TBT Tuesday to compete in “The Basketball Tournament,” the team announced on Twitter. Carter Jr. started for the Terps in 2015 when Maryland made the Sweet 16. 

A self described scorer and playmaker that creates mismatches for opponents, Carter Jr. will be a handful for teams in TBT. Additionally, he has experience playing with Melo Trimble, Jake Layman and Damonte Dodd which will bode well for Shell Shock TBT. 

Carter Jr. played in one season for Maryland, due to a redshirt season in 2014, and played all 36 games when the Terps climbed to as high as number two in the AP Poll. He averaged 12 points and six rebounds per game. Carter Jr. mentioned there hasn’t been much communication between him and the basketball program since he left, but sees this as a chance to rekindle the relationship. 

“I’m always excited to see the team play when I get a chance, being overseas, and I love what they’re doing over there right now,” Carter Jr. said. 

Since turning pro, he’s played eight seasons overseas and each one for a different team. Carter’s played in Italy, Lithuania, Turkey, Japan and this past season in Israel. “I like to see lots of places, and get a feel for life in different areas,” Carter Jr. said. 

He had his best statistical seasons during his three seasons playing in Japan, and specifically in 2019-2020 when he averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds. “I really feel like I established myself playing in Japan,” Carter Jr. said. 

He’s coming off an injury that sidelined him for most of the 2022-23 season. He played in only eight games for Bnei Herzeliya, and averaged just above nine points and five rebounds. With a player option this off-season, Carter Jr. said it’s likely he’ll remain with Bnei Herzliya, but anything is possible and he’ll be exploring his options in free agency. 

As for preparing for TBT, Carter Jr. looks at it just like the NCAA tournament and thinks they have what it takes to win it all. “We have just as much talent as anyone, and we’re all pros. We’ve got some guys who’ve played together and we want to win the championship,” Carter Jr. said. 

With the Elam Ending as a big aspect of the tournament, Carter Jr. said a pick-and-roll with Melo Trimble would be his go-to play with the game on the line. “Melo and me in a ball screen, him being the first option and then you have me on a pick-and-pop,” Carter Jr. said. 

While he was passionate in saying he wants to win, Carter Jr. also said he’s going to stay optimistic and try to enjoy the opportunity. “Tell [Maryland fans] to tune in. We’re going to put on a show,” Carter Jr. said. 

Shell Shock TBT plays their first game on July 26 at 4 p.m. against Gatorverse on ESPN+.

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