Opinion: Matt Carlino is KU’s solution

Earlier today, BYU announced that junior point guard Matt Carlino would be transferring from the program. Carlino is set to graduate in June so he’ll be able to play right away.

KU’s main issue in the 2013-14 season point guard play and after last weekend’s escapades of Naadir Tharpe,  can Bill Self really trust his most experienced player on his roster next year?

Matt Carlino is the solution to KU’s problem and he would actually be quite useful. Last season, Carlino averaged 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 2 turnovers per game in 27.3 minutes played per game. He leaves BYU as the 27th all-time leading scorer in BYU history and ranks seventh in assists, sixth in steals and sixth in 3-pointers.

In comparison, Tharpe averaged 8.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 5 assists, 0.7 steals and 2.1 turnovers per game in 29.4 minutes played per game.

While Tharpe shot better than Carlino last year (43.6 percent for Tharpe compared to 38.5 percent for Carlino), Carlino took almost double the amount of shots Tharpe did (12.2 to 6.4 field goal attempts per game). Carlino wouldn’t need to shoot that much at Kansas with Selden and Oubre leading the offensive attack from the guards and the endless supply of big men KU will have next year.

Also, turnovers were a big problem for Carlino early in the season, with 41 coming in his first 15 games. After the first of the new year, Carlino had 29 turnovers in 20 games. He really improved as the season went along, which is a great sign. Like I just mentioned, he doesn’t need to do too much at KU as he should be the fourth or fifth best offensive option as the starter. KU needs someone to be a leader on the court, not turn it over and distribute the ball to the big playmakers on this team.

Carlino is a veteran player who could impact Kansas like Tarik Black did. Carlino averaged over 27 minutes per game in each of his three seasons at BYU. He’s played in two NCAA tournaments and led BYU to the NIT semifinals in 2013 (losing to Baylor). Carlino can get on fire beyond the arc. In February this year, Carlino scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers.

Carlino redshirted in 2010-2011 after transferring from UCLA. Sports Illustrated wrote a piece on the mess at UCLA and why Carlino left. According to SI, Reeves Nelson nicknamed Carlino “concussion boy” after Matt suffered a concussion in practice. Nelson is a guy who has been known to be a terrible teammate.

I digress but my point is, Carlino could fit in at KU, which is a group of players that respect each other and call each other family. There aren’t any Reeves Nelsons at Kansas.

From what I’ve read about Carlino, he’s a nice kid, which reminds me a lot of Tarik Black.

Carlino can come to KU and win the starting role and lead a very talented team deep into the NCAA tournament. If he hasn’t already, I expect Bill Self to reach out to him to see what he’s looking for. If it is the right fit, I could see Carlino in a Jayhawk uniform in 2014-2015.