Posted On: 11/24/18 2:30 PM
As part of our preseason content, we’re counting down the top dozen candidates for this year’s Mr. Basketball award, presented annually to the top senior in the state. The list ends with our No. 1 candidate, Bettendorf point guard DJ Carton, a future Ohio State Buckeye. He headlines a strong group of candidates in what should be a fascinating race to watch all winter long.
2017-18 stats: 448 points (23.6/game), 109 rebounds (5.7), 64 assists (3.4), 31 steals (1.6), 49.2 FG%, 32.2 3P%, 78.9 FT%
Career stats: 637 points (17.2/game), 198 rebounds (5.4), 121 assists (3.3), 48 steals (1.3), 48.1 FG%, 33.1 3P%, 77.6 FT%
About Carton: An explosive lead guard, Carton’s ascension up the national rankings has been incredible to watch. During his sophomore season, he looked like a potential low-major player. Then in the summer heading into his junior year, he played his way into the mid-major to lower tier high-major conversation. Then he turned himself into a top 25 player nationally. He’s the most highly regarded player to come out of Iowa since Marcus Paige in 2012 and looks primed to put together a senior year similar to what Joe Wieskamp did at Muscatine or Garrett Sturtz did at Newton last year.
Why he can win Mr. Basketball: Despite having less on his resume than any other player on the countdown, Carton is the most highly regarded prospect the state has seen in a while. He made it to the final cut with USA Basketball’s under-18 team and has signed to play at Ohio State.
Odds he wins Mr. Basketball: As with Tyreke Locure, Jake Hilmer and Patrick McCaffery, Carton has a 25% chance here. He’ll probably put up the biggest numbers of anyone, but will doing it for only two years as opposed to four hurt him? Only time will tell.