Spotlight on Chennedy Carter vs. South Carolina

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - April 14: Chennedy Carter
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - April 14: Chennedy Carter /

There are many reasons to tune into an endless slate of excellent basketball on New Year’s Eve Day, but perhaps the most excited I am is to see how Chennedy Carter fares against South Carolina Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. on the SEC Network.

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At first blush, this would seem a mismatch—Carter, a mere freshman, against the defending champions, with the thirteenth-best defensive points per possession ranking in the nation.

However, Carter is not playing like a freshman. Per National Statistical, she’s generating 26.4 points per 40 minutes, good for the best mark of any freshman. Her assist percentage of 37.7 also rates near the top of both freshmen and all players, while her turnover percentage of just 13.8 speaks to remarkable decision-making for a player so young.

As for South Carolina’s defensive efforts on her, they will have to do it without stopper Bianca Cuevas-Moore, a vital part of last season’s title team, who will miss the season with a knee injury. It does not appear transfer Te’a Cooper will be eligible for the game, and redshirt freshman Lindsey Spann is expected to miss the game as well with a lingering knee injury.

Now you can be sure Dawn Staley knows all this, and few are better prepared when it comes to the Xs and Os on the defensive end. Carter’s penetration will obviously draw the attention of a certain rim protector named A’ja Wilson as well.

But Carter, who has drawn raves from all who have seen her, has a chance to lay down a marker against the defending champions Sunday. It’s hard to think of a more compelling watch this afternoon, even inlcluding the delicious top-10 battle between Texas and West Virginia.

Of course, no one said you had to choose.