Former Reserve star Carter back home for NCAA tourney

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 17, 2010



NEW ORLEANS – Tweety Carter wants to see his Baylor Bears enjoy a longer stay than their last visit to the NCAA tournament two years ago when they went one and done.

One thing is for sure though: Carter, at the very least, should be more comfortable this time, nNot just due to the senior’s experience, but his surroundings.

The former Reserve Christian prep superstar is returning home this week as he and Baylor learned Sunday the Bears were seeded third in the NCAA tournament’s South regional and would be playing a first and potential second round game at the New Orleans Arena.

“It is a blessing,” said Carter of being able to return to New Orleans. “I am just happy to be back and playing in front of my home crowd.”

The Bears will face No. 14 Sam Houston State in the first round. If successful, they will move on to face the winner of Notre Dame and Old Dominion.

The draw looks even better when considering that Baylor would play potential games close to home in the third and fourth rounds in Houston.

Baylor has become a popular pick to make a run to the Final Four, and a breakout senior season by Carter is a big reason why.

The point guard is among the nation’s leaders in assists (6.1) while averaging 15.7 points per game.

He leads the team alongside fellow Louisiana native LaceDarius Dunn (the team’s leading scorer who prepped at Excelsior Christian in Monroe).

Carter said watching the selection show with his team had a different feel to it Sunday.

“Last time we were just hoping we got in,” said Carter. “This year we knew we were in, and it was just a matter of where we were going to play. And God has blessed us, for me and Lace to play at home.”

Baylor missed the NCAA tournament last season but made a postseason run to the finals of the NIT.

This season, the Bears (25-7) finished the regular season ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press poll. It’s 10-3 in its last 13 games, including three wins over Texas, once top-ranked.

“This is a different team,” said Carter. “All year we have been going against some top teams and performing well. For all of our young guys, this is going to be a different experience. We have to take it like it is any other game and play our style of basketball and not get too caught up in that `we just made it’. We want to do more than just `make it’.”