Posted On: 11/5/18 8:04 AM
The high school season is just a couple weeks from tip-off in the DMV. For prep schools however, the journey has already begun. Mt. Zion Prep had a handful of marquee wins last season, including one against Brewster Academy, who was ranked as the No. 1 team in the country. The Warriors look a lot different this season with a huge roster overhaul, but Rob Carpenter returns and looks to be their go-to guy. We caught up with the 6-foot-7 wing/forward last week after he led the team with 22 points in a win over New York International Academy.
PH: How was your spring/summer and who did you play AAU with?
RC: I played with the Detroit Family on the EYBL circuit, but finished with the Michigan Mustangs.
PH: How was the experience overall and what were some things in your game that you were aiming to improve on?
RC: I went through some growing pains, but overall it went well. Once I transferred teams, it was kind of like my team, so it opened a lot of stuff up for me.
PH: Let’s shift to Mt. Zion. When I came to watch you guys last year, you were trying to find your place on the team. Now, you’re the primary option offensively. What changed?
RC: Nothing has really changed, I just took it upon myself to step up and be a leader and show these young guys how to win and make sure I’m doing a good job leading by example.
PH: What are some specific parts of your game that you’re trying to improve on this year in order to prepare yourself for the collegiate level?
RC: I’m really working on my ball handling and overall awareness on the court. We don’t have a lot of strong ball handlers on the team right now, so the main thing is trying to step up and give us another option as a ball handler.
PH: What do you guys as a team have to improve on in order to compete against the top teams in the country like Brewster?
RC: We have to improve on chemistry. A lot of guys on the team came from schools where they dominated, so we really have to work on playing together because it’s not going to be one guy that scores 30 a game. The scoring is going to be evenly dispersed.
PH: Which players do you watch film on and find yourself adopting things of their game to put in your own?
RC: I really watch Jimmy Butler. A lot of people say my game is similar to his. Jayson Tatum as well because of his craftiness and how he works in the paint. He studies Kobe a lot, so I like to base my game off his to get my perimeter skills up.
PH: Which colleges are recruiting you aggressively?
RC: Eastern Kentucky, Temple, Cal State Fullerton, Stony Brook and Youngstown St.
PH: What does your priority list look like in evaluating colleges?
RC: Really just looking for the perfect fit. I want to be comfortable where I’m at and be in a good environment.