February 11, 2013

Carlos: 'Really excited to play and be a Chippewa'

While the Central Michigan basketball team is in a bit of a funk right now, the early season victories were enough to show most CMU fans that the program is headed in the right direction. Head coach Keno Davis has the team playing hard and the offense lends itself to an exciting brand of basketball. But as the Chippewas look to the future, they must replace their best offensive player in UNC-Greensboro transfer Kyle Randall.

Randall is currently averaging 17.2 PPG, and he will be joined in graduation by fellow seniors Olivier Mbaigoto (7.0 PPG), Zach Saylor (3.0 PPG) and Finis Craddock (3.7 PPG). All together, CMU will have to replace almost 30 points per game next season.

A big chunk of that will fall upon the shoulders of the returning players, many of whom are currently freshman getting their first taste of Division 1 basketball. But some of that scoring load could be offset by the 2013 class, and the Chippewas currently have three terrific HS scorers signed for next season. One of them is 6-foot-7 and 190 pound wing Nick Carlos from Ashland (Mo.) Southern Boone High.

Carlos is currently the leading scorer in the area, averaging 22.7 points per game and he is just a few buckets away from holding the scoring record at Southern Boone.

"Our season is going pretty good," added Carlos. "We are about to wind down to the final few games, and I think we are 16-5 or something close. Once we get through the regular season, it's on to districts, and we obviously hope to win that. And then, we will just see where it goes from there."

At 6-foot-7, his game is very similar to freshman John Simons. He is a pure shooter, but not a traditional big man that plays in the paint. Carlos used a six inch growth spurt between sixth and seventh grade to blossom into a Division 1 talent, but it was his play on the AAU circuit that eventually made that a reality. CMU assistant coach Kyle Gerdeman also has ties to the Missouri area, as he was the head coach for Morberly Area Community College from 2006-08.

"AAU with the St. Louis Gateway," answered Carlos on how CMU found out about him. "The summer circuit is really good at getting players exposure and that's where schools really started to notice. But I have a lot of respect for my high school coach and he helped me a lot in the process. With CMU, the coaching staff just seemed like a great fit and they played a style of offense that I fit into, kind of that up-temp run and gun. They run a lot and shoot a lot of three's, I've only seen a few games this season, but I like what I've seen. They are really young and have some room for improvement, but that's part of the process."

Carlos will join PG Braylon Rayson and SG Josh Kozinski at CMU, as all three were part of the early signing period and have already signed their LOI.

"I don't really know them too much," added Carlos on his future teammates. "I played against Josh a few times in AAU, and his team beat mine. But I hope to strike a friendship with them and build something special at CMU."

As for his role as a true freshman at CMU?

"Hopefully I can come in there and contribute as a freshman," said Carlos. "I'm really hoping to, but I would be fine with whatever the coaches decide. But I want to play, and I'm really excited to get be a Chippewa and make my way to Mount Pleasant."

As a junior, Carlos averaged 18.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.3 APG and 1.8 BPG for a 24-4 squad that did not have a single conference loss. He has a 3.4 GPA and chose CMU over offers from Nebraska-Omaha and DII Lindenwood.

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