Unraveling the mystery of Sterling Carter and his Seattle U farewell

9 Jan

Sterling “Sporty” Carter made it very clear to me that he did not quit the Seattle 
University basketball team two days ago, but that he was released.

The junior guard, expected to be a top scorer for the Redhawks this 
year, hadn’t played in the last four games.

Based on the above, it’s pretty clear that the marriage between Sporty 
and Seattle U was not working out.

And it’s also evident that the decision to set Sporty free was made by 
the Seattle coaching staff. Back in December, the Redhawks eked out a 
close win at Eastern Washington and Sporty was not in the lineup for the first time. When
 I asked Coach Dollar why, he said it wasn’t injury-related, and that 
he was “just looking at different rotations.”

What, then, is the cause of the Sterling Carter saga?

It sounds like it’s basketball-related, from everything I’ve heard. It 
might be as simple as the fact that Sporty had an itchy trigger finger
 on his shot, and that Dollar didn’t think that fit in with Seattle’s
 style of play.

Whatever it is, the team will probably keep it internal. One player I talked to mentioned that Dollar probably won’t discuss Sporty’s exit until the time is right.

Sterling got at least 14 minutes in each of the first five games this
 year. In those games, he shot a combined 10-44. That is a really, really bad percentage. A lot of those shots were extremely difficult 
ones. It probably seemed like Sterling was trying to go out and win
 games on his own when he came off the bench. Who knows, maybe he was.

The sixth game was the Eastern game in which Sterling didn’t play. In 
the next three contests, he sat until the second half. He entered the UW game
 and took just about every shot he could, including some extremely 
difficult ones. To my eyes, it looked like a player desperate to 
impress, but who was unfortunately going about it exactly the wrong way for Coach

Dollar has never been shy about benching talented players that he 
doesn’t believe fit in with his system. He did it to Charles Garcia 
back when he was a Redhawk phenom. He’s done it to Clarence Trent this 
year – Seattle’s most talented player got just 17 minutes in the 
losses to SJ State and Virginia.

Sterling’s case seems like the extreme extension of that. Sterling
 wanted to be one type of player, while Dollar believed he needed to be
 another – a player more focused on intense defense and picking his 
spots than taking intensely difficult shots.

He’s the same gunner that he was as a freshman and sophomore when he got more playing time and scored in bunches. Perhaps that’s the problem, that Dollar needed him to become more.

To his immense credit, Sporty doesn’t appear to hold any ill will
 toward Seattle U. He told me he loved being a Redhawk, and that he 
appreciated the opportunity to play in his hometown city, but that
 it’s time to move on, that it just didn’t work.

Maybe that’s the best summary of all. It just didn’t work. This was a marriage between a
 volume shooter and a press/fast break-minded coach, and that kind of 
marriage didn’t work out in the long run. If Sporty can go on to find success at
 another school, maybe the divorce between Sterling Carter and Seattle
 University will be the best thing for all parties involved.


2 Responses to “Unraveling the mystery of Sterling Carter and his Seattle U farewell”


  1. Preview: Redhawks need to get back on track against New Mexico State « seattle u hoops - January 10, 2013

    […] The recent news about Sterling Carter leaving the team has only further contributed to the cloud over the program right now. This needs to be a “turn the page” game to get away from some of that. Seattle needs to come out and play both smart and hard. […]

  2. 2013 Purdue Basketball Recruiting: Sterling Carter | Boiler Sports News - June 4, 2013

    […] This past season was Carter’s worst at the D1 level as he dropped to just 7.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. He only played an average of 18.6 minutes and shot a career worst 31.7% from the field. It is a bit of a mystery as to why he left Seattle: […]

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