Steve Richards of ESPNBoston.com spent some one-on-one time with Sampson Carter following the win over LSU on Tuesday. He touched on the redshirt senior's improved bill of health after surgery from two years ago left lingering pain in Carter's body.
AMHERST, Mass. -- A frequent topic of conversation in the first days of the college basketball season is a rules change essentially directing officials to give offenses more room to maneuver and defenses a little less leeway.
The change coincided with the University of Massachusetts getting to the free throw line 40 times in its 92-90 win over LSU in a Tuesday morning game pitting teams on the NCAA tournament bubble in early projections.
On the surface, UMass' Sampson Carter seemingly was a primary beneficiary, getting to the line 15 times and hitting 11, both career highs. But most of the calls would have been made regardless of any adjustment to the rules. Carter was aggressive to the basket from the start despite the presence of a solid LSU front line. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound senior finished with 17 points, matching his career best. That came on the heels of a 12-point effort that including a personal 7-0 outburst that sparked an 86-73 win over Boston College on Sunday.
"As you all can see, I'm really not as athletic as [teammate Raphiael Putney] or Maxie Esho," Carter said. "All my life when I have to play with these type of guys, I have to do the grunt work, using ball fakes, using my body. I knew what I had to do coming into the game. That's just the player I am."
More than just a mindset, Carter's early success also can be attributed to his health.
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