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Arizona basketball: Wildcats in the mix for UNLV graduate transfer Ben Carter

Front court depth is needed and Carter would provide that

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats are one of the final six teams in the running for UNLV graduate transfer Ben Carter, CBS' Jon Rothstein reported on Monday morning.

Carter, who'd be eligible to play right away, started his collegiate career at Oregon, where he played minimally for two seasons before transferring to UNLV. He then sat out the 2014-15 season.

Then, in his redshirt junior season this past year, the former 3-star recruit posted a solid season, averaging 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 24 minutes per game.

The 6-foot-9, 225 pound big man had a respectable rebounding percentage of 13.2, including an impressive 11.5 offensive rebounding percentage. Most of his offensive game is near the rim, either scoring off an offensive rebound or finishing at the basket, though he can hit a mid-range jumper from time to time too. Plus, he's a career 78.5 percent free throw shooter.

Defensively, he's an intriguing option because of the rim-protection he offers. The Rebels were a solid defensive team in 2015-16, posting the country's 43rd best defensive rating (97.2), and that number was even better when Carter was on the floor (96.3).

Carter had a block percentage of 5.6 this past season, giving him a higher mark than what Kaleb Tarczewski put up for Arizona as a senior. He's not the biggest front court player you'll see, but if you add his mobility to his shot blocking prowess, he could prove to be an interior defender the Wildcats may desperately need this season.

All in all, the Wildcats need front court depth probably more than anything else at this juncture, and they could do worse than landing Carter.

Still, there are five other teams in the running -- Michigan State, N.C. State, Arizona State, Miami (FL), and UNLV (yes, he may stay there) -- and so Arizona's chance of landing him might not be ideal, especially since other schools can likely offer him more playing time or even a starting spot.

Carter is expected to visit each school before making a decision.

He scored 10 points on 5-9 shooting and grabbed five rebounds against Arizona on Dec. 19. The Wildcats are also likely to offer a scholarship to Lipscomb graduate transfer -- and Tucson-native -- Talbott Denny, a 6-foot-6 guard.