Ernie Kent wasted little time giving out the scholarship vacated by four-star recruit Roberto Gittens, signing junior college transfer Carter Skaggs to a financial aid agreement, the school announced today.
Skaggs is a 6-foot-5 wing who started just two games at Chipola College last season and averaged 7.7 points per game. He appears to possess only one skill: The ability to shoot from beyond the arc, where he hit at a better than 40 percent rate last season.
That’s not me being a cynical jerk. That’s merely relaying the evidence in the videos from his last two stops, which are comprised virtually entirely of shots from 3-point range:
If that truly is his only skill, it’s not a bad one to possess. WSU says he’ll have three years of eligibility remaining (although I think it’s actually four to play three), and like a lot of college basketball prospects, his journey to WSU was interesting/weird/fortuitous/pick your adjective.
Skaggs averaged 17 points at his Indiana high school, but apparently didn’t like his college options, so he signed with Chipola College in Florida.
“Yeah, I make decent grades, it’s not that. It’s just I feel like I need to mature my body a little bit more. It’ll just help in the long run,” Skaggs said. “I’ll put some weight on me and get a little more athletic and get some good looks to continue my career at another school.”
However, for reasons that are unclear, he ended up at Bridgton Academy in Maine instead. After that year of prep school, he signed with High Point University, a low-major school in the Big South Conference.
"Carter is an excellent 3-point shooter. He's had games this year for Bridgton where he's hit as many as 11 threes," High Point coach Scott Cherry said via news release. "He has deep range with the ability to stretch the defense and put pressure on teams and allow us to spread the floor offensively. He will be good in ball screen, pick and pop situations. He's versatile and can play the wing or the forward spot. He's had a very successful career playing for his dad. He's a coach's son with a high basketball IQ."
But, again, he didn’t land where he signed — instead, he ended up at Chipola after all. Following his one year there last season, he was on the move again: On June 6, he signed to play at Vincennes University (which, despite its name, is actually a two-year state-funded junior college) about three hours from him hometown.
Sometime in the two months between then and now, Kent decided Skaggs was worth a Pac-12 scholarship, inking him just a few days before the start of school.
"To get a player of Carter's caliber at this point in the year is unique and fortunate," Kent said. "He will be a great asset to the team with his ability to shoot the ball and his high basketball IQ. We're excited to have Carter in a Cougar uniform."
Perhaps it’s worth noting, as you calibrate your expectations for the “player of Carter’s caliber,” that literally every coach in the country had an opportunity to sign Skaggs three different times and virtually all of them passed, save for High Point, which was rated 270th last season by kenpom.com.
Kent now has one more scholarship to offer for this season if he chooses, but about the only way that would happen at this point would be if he picked up a transfer mid-year. Here’s how the scholarship situation now shakes out; I went ahead and put Gittens as a verbal commit because he said on Twitter that he still plans on coming to WSU.