Megan Carter in action and with her cello, in photo she shared from several years ago.
It’s not too often you catch an athlete completely off guard in a press conference, but redshirt junior guard Megan Carter was stopped short at the media day last week. It didn’t have anything to do with basketball.
“Tell me about the cello,” I asked in the last question of the event. (These things are not very formal.)
“Definitely not expecting that question,” she said.
So she told us that she had been playing for 11 years (about half her life.) She actually had just gotten a new cello, she said with some pride. (“And she can sing, too,” said teammate Alexa Golden, the other player at the press conference. Megan blushed.)
I know no way to look this up, but there can’t be many Division I basketball players with her particular off-court skill.
Between being a full-time student and the long hours of a Division I basketball player, when does she find time to play?
“I set time out of my day for it,” Carter said, “just to escape from basketball and school, and kind of relax into myself.”
(Where did the question come from? I had seen mention of it on social media sometime in Carter’s first three years here.)
Back to basketball
Carter and Golden were marquee players in former coach Danny O’Banion’s third recruiting class. Golden actually graduated last December after two-and-a-half years She downplayed it (“I got a lot of college credit in high school”). But I’ve taught a lot of good students in 30 years and never had one graduate that fast. Golden will get her masters in sports recreation and management in May.
Carter, a public health major, was redshirted after she blew out her knee in the third game of her freshman year. So she has another year of eligibility.
Here’s what they had to say about the upcoming season:
What they’ve worked on to prepare for the season
Carter: “Consistency. I’ve just all around bringing it every day to practice. Last year I had a couple big games, and the next couple of games I would just disappear and have like two points.”
Golden: “Communication. We have so many new people on the team that you have to communicate. You can’t just lead by example.”
How they’ve worked with Kent’s five freshmen and two junior college transfers:
Carter: “Just setting the standard. We want to complete at a high level at all times.”
Golden, who coach Todd Starkey leads the team in toughness: “I’ve always been the type of player that will dive for loose balls and take charges. You just show them. They’re going to catch on. Then that’s the norm.”
On the up-tempo style of play Starkey says new players allow
Golden: “I like playing a little faster and getting points in transition. People know that I like defense probably more than offense. So I always had the thought process that defense creates offense. Playing faster helps that.”
The newcomer who best guards Carter (KSU’s top returning scorer)
“Asiah (Dingle, the freshman point guard). She has very, very quick hands. I have to think and do stuff differently to score the ball.”
On Golden’s health (she had major leg problems in February and March)
“Things are OK. I guess I’m getting old. So it’s sort of training room every day before practice and after practice, trying to stop the aging.”