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Goodbye Paul Carter

Minnesota junior Paul Carter, thought of as a likely starter heading into the 2010-11 season, is leaving the University according to news reports today. Carter intends to move closer to his younger sister who is battling cancer. No one can fault Carter for wanting to be near his ailing sister. In fact, we should applaud Carter putting family first, even if it deprives us of seeing him play.

That said, this news means the Gophers have just lost their starting small forward, a blossoming offensive player and a long, shot-blocking defensive presence. Personally, Carter has been one of my favorite Gophers of the Tubby Smith era, and I was very much looking forward to seeing him start.

This news also puts a new twist on Tubby Smith's recruiting efforts. Now the Gophers need 1) point guard 2) a power forward of any sort, just one power forward on the roster, please and 3) a small forward that can provide the athleticism Blake Hoffarber doesn't.

We'll have more on this soon, but for now, what do you think of the Carter news? What did you like most about Carter? How much will this hurt the Gophers?