Thursday, December 18, 2014

OU has family feel for Mann

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 4/25/2014

Carter Mann felt something different about Ottawa University. He knew about the school with his father, Noah, attending there and playing football.

But there was more to it. During the recruiting process ­— Ottawa — felt like a family to him.

Carter Mann felt something different about Ottawa University. He knew about the school with his father, Noah, attending there and playing football.

But there was more to it. During the recruiting process ­— Ottawa — felt like a family to him.

He knew Braves basketball coach Andy Carrier since he was a little boy. He is friends with the Hasty brothers. That was not lost on Mann.

“He has always been a good guy to me,” Mann said of Carrier after signing Wednesday with the Braves. “He is more of a father figure to me than the other coaches. It meant a lot. That played a big part in my decision.

“Knowing Alex and Adam Hasty, It is sort of like a big brother thing. They both will take care of me really well.”

Carrier said this signing was special.

“It does have extra meaning,” he said. “When I first came to Ottawa, his grandpa was the football coach at Ottawa High. We did a lot of fishing together. We stay in touch. I have known his family all the way through.”

Another irony is the fact his high school coach Thatcher Decker played his senior season for Carrier.

“I was not completely unbiased,” Decker said. “I could tell him what he could expect. I played one year for coach Carrier. It was one of the best experiences of my long playing career. I told Carter that. The best thing about coach is he not going to lie to you when he recruits you. He will tell you where you stand.

“He will reward hard work. He is defense first. He will let you shoot if you are good at it. Carter reminds me a whole lot of myself when I ended up there as a shooter and competitor.”

Mann took that advice.

“I talked to coach Decker about that,” Mann said. “He told me he loved playing there.”

There was one more thing that swayed the Wellsville all-around athlete.

“Ottawa seems to have it all together,” Carter said. “They are in it to win championships and not about individual stats. That is what I like.”

Carter is sharpshooter and ranks among Wellsville leaders in career points, field goals made and three-point field goals attempted and made. But what sets him apart is his understanding of the whole game.

“He has a big upside,” Carrier said. “He shoots the ball extremely well. He is extremely unselfish. He is a very good athlete. There will be a little bit of an adjustment with the speed and strength of the game. We think he will be a solid player.

“He is a natural two guard. He will be better than average defensively. He sees the floor and passes the ball well. Sometimes, he is too unselfish. That is a real good trait to have. He will fit into our team style, sharing the basketball well. He will be an effective player on both ends of the floor.”

Carter understands the task in front of him.

“It all depends on how hard I work,” he said. “This summer I can play with them. I will be there as much as I can and work as hard as I can trying to get a spot on the varsity squad.”

Carter was one of three commitments for Carrier this week.

“Carter is a big part of that,” Carrier said. “He is a very solid freshmen to add to this class.”

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