Entering this season, Jevon Carter had just nine career starts at the NBA level under his belt.
The former Mountaineer great had enjoyed some successful spurts in his career, but the defensive specialist had largely been used as a role player through his first three-plus seasons in the Association.
That changed last year when Carter joined the Milwaukee Bucks. In 20 games with the club, he played a career-best 17.7 minutes per game, shot 100 percent from the free throw line, and averaged a personal-best 5.6 points per contest.
Carter was coming into his own with Milwaukee, and his maturation has continued this year.
Through the first 20 games of the season, the WVU grad is averaging 9.1 points per game – more than double what he has averaged for any season since turning pro.
He has also started every game the Bucks have played.
“Jevon is a super competitive guy, [he] competes on both ends, talks, wants to get better – that’s the biggest thing. As an NBA player, you got to want it,” Bucks forward Bobby Portis said earlier this year. “He wants it. He puts the time in, put the work in. I was with him all summer, in August and September, and he really made strides, and seeing his progression and his game grow.”
Carter tallied a career-high 36 points against Oklahoma City in mid-November. That was one of his eight double-digit scoring outputs, which are tied for a career-high. All but two of those performances have come within the last three weeks.
It’s not just his scoring that is up, though.
Carter is averaging career-bests in minutes played (27.5), shooting percentage (.445), assists (3.45), rebounds (2.75), and steals (1.4).
His play has directly benefited a Milwaukee team that currently sits second in the Eastern Conference standings with a 15-5 record. The only team in the NBA with a better record are the Boston Celtics, who are coached by fellow former Mountaineer guard Joe Mazzulla.