Carpenter starring at Fayetteville
By Mike London
The area athletes update …
Jamel Carpenter (West Rowan) hates losing the way termites hate the Orkin Man so his first month of basketball at Fayetteville State has been a mixed bag.
The 6-foot-3 junior is the CIAA’s leading scorer at 24.1 points a game, but his team is 2-5 and has lost dropped five in a row.
“I’d trade that 24 points a game for 4 a game and a few more wins in a minute,” said Carpenter who is home for the holidays until he reports back to the Broncos on Dec. 30. “But I’m a long way from being down or down on my young teammates. We’ve got some new additions that will be eligible next semester, and we’ll keep getting better.”
Carpenter experienced losing first-hand at West as a varsity freshman. He was on the 2003-04 team that went 6-18 and was the only losing squad Mike Gurley has ever coached in his long, successful run in Mount Ulla.
After that, Carpenter led a resurgence by the Falcons ó 15-11, 19-7 and 26-4.
His junior and senior seasons, West won the NPC title and Carpenter was honored as Rowan County Player of the Year.
Carpenter was an East-West All-Star, but a lot of people didn’t think he’d be heard from again after he headed to Florida Community College at Jacksonville.
The junior college route can be a tough road, but Carpenter did what he had to do in the classroom and on the court and is now making a name for himself in Division II.
He’s not great at any one thing, but he’s pretty good at everything. Among other things, he’s getting to the foul line a ton (51 times in seven games), and he’s an 88-percent foul shooter.
“I’m just gonna do what I do like always,” Carpenter said. “I’ve worked very hard at my game, especially my shooting range, and it’s just been happening for me.”
If there was a rap on Carpenter coming out of high school, it’s that he wasn’t a strong outside shooter, but he’s now among the CIAA leaders with 18 3-pointers.
He’s also fifth in the league in rebounding (8.3 per game), pretty impressive for a guard who’s a good jumper, but not a skywalker.
“I’ve always loved to rebound, always been a rebounder even back to high school,” Carpenter said. “Rebounding’s just work and determination, and I’ve got that.”
Carpenter’s last game before the holidays was a two-point loss to UNC Pembroke, and for the first time this season he was the focus of the defense. The Braves played a box-and-one and held him to three field goals, but he still shot 10-for-10 at the foul line.
Carpenter had an opportunity to watch his 6-7 brother K.J. Sherrill play for the Charlotte 49ers against Winthrop on Sunday and is looking forward to seeing another brother, West Rowan sophomore Keshun Sherrill, play against North Rowan tonight.
“It’ll give me a chance to holler at Gurley a little bit,” Carpenter said with a laugh.
NOTES: Doug Campbell (Salisbury) is finally getting a chance to play regularly at Rio Grande as a junior and is piling up 3-pointers. He had five 3s and 22 points in his last outing. … Katelynne Poole (East Rowan) hit a 3-pointer to help Brevard beat Belmont Abbey 56-51. … S.C. State’s Sophilia Hipps (North Rowan) scored 18 points in a 59-56 loss to Jacksonville State. Hipps is averaging 17.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists.