Michigan State and Ben Carter made it official on Tuesday.
Coach Tom Izzo announced that Carter, a former UNLV forward, will join the Spartans as a graduate transfer, making him immediately eligible to play in 2016-17. Carter originally announced his decision to transfer on May 4, but he wasn't officially added to the Michigan State roster until Tuesday.
Izzo believes that Carter fits the winning culture that Michigan State has established, while also filling a position of need following the departures of Matt Costello, Deyonta Davis, Colby Wollenman, Javon Bess and Marvin Clark Jr.
"What struck me about Ben from the very first time I talked to him was that the most important thing to him was winning and being part of a championship team," Izzo said in Tuesday's statement. "Coach Simon felt Ben was one of the keys to their team last season before he was injured in January. He's going to give us a bona fide 4-man, but once again, it's his passion for winning that impressed me. After meeting with him and his family for their visit, I'm excited to say that we are adding a good player and a great kid."
Carter is coming off a torn ACL he suffered in late January. The 6'9" forward started seven of 22 games prior to the injury, averaging 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds on 55.6 percent shooting for the Runnin' Rebels.
Michigan State will be Carter's third school, as the Las Vegas native played two years at Oregon before transferring home to UNLV and redshirting the 2014-15 season. Carter has played a combined 84 games at Oregon and UNLV, averaging 4.1 points and 3.3 rebounds throughout his career.
Carter will likely see playing time for a young Spartans team that is looking to replace 72.6 percent of their scoring from last season's 29-6 team. Program veterans Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes, Costello and Wollenman graduated, Davis left early for the NBA Draft, and Bess and Clark transferred following the season.
Senior Eron Harris, who started his career at West Virginia, will take on a leadership role after averaging 9.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a junior. Matt McQuaid (3.5 ppg) will also take on a larger role, while Gavin Schilling (3.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and Kenny Goins (2.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg) are the lone returning post players.
Carter will be asked to produce, along with the highly-anticipated 2016 recruiting class as Cassius Winston, Miles Bridges, Josh Langford and Nick Ward will all join the program as top-40 recruits according to ESPN. Ward, a 6'8" Ohio native, is the only big man of the group, while the 6'7" Bridges will play more of a small forward.
Carter is expected to be healthy by September and will likely help Harris, McQuaid, Schilling and the veterans lead the team until the freshmen get acclimated to Division I basketball. The Spartans are hoping Carter will mesh with Schilling in the front court. The 6'9" Schilling does most of his work down low, grabbing rebounds and defending the paint. Carter has the size to get that done, but also has the ability to move around on the perimeter.
Izzo still has the ability to tweak his roster prior to the upcoming season. The Spartans are awaiting a decision from 6'9" Taurean Thompson, a 4-star forward from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Thompson has narrowed his options down to Michigan State, Seton Hall and Syracuse, who has long been the favorite to land the Brewster Academy product.