By: Duane Cochran
FAIRMONT -- 11/24/2004
Chris Carey grew up around West Virginia Conference
|Morgantown High School's Chris Carey, son of WVU
Women's Basketball Coach Mike Carey, has signed to play basketball at
Fairmont State. - TimesWV.com photo
Next season he’ll be playing it.
The talented 6- 5, 180- pound senior guard from Morgantown
High School has signed early to continue his basketball career at Fairmont State
“ I wanted to stay close to home and I knew I wanted to go
somewhere in the conference to play, I just wasn’t sure where,” said Carey,
who is the son of West Virginia University women’s head basketball coach Mike
Carey and his wife Cheryl. “ When Fairmont contacted me I knew right away that
was where I wanted to go.
“ My dad basically left the decision up to me, but he told
me if I wanted the chance to play for four years I should probably go Division
II. Also, from him coaching in the conference for so long I knew a lot about it
and was very familiar and comfortable with it. That’s what influenced me to
stay in the conference and to go to Fairmont.”
Carey’s father coached 13 seasons at Salem International
University and led the Tigers to a total of seven postseason appearances ( two
in the NAIA and five in NCAA Division II). Salem also won five WVC championships
and claimed three league tournament titles. He compiled a 288- 102 record as
Salem’s head coach, including a 138- 20 mark in his last five years. The
Tigers only suffered one losing season while he was their head coach. The elder
Carey is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Lady Mountaineers.
“ I went to a lot of Salem practices when I
was little,” said the younger Carey with a laugh. “ It was a great
experience for me.”
Carey, who began his high
school career at Bridgeport but transferred to Morgantown last season, averaged
13.0 points per game last year and helped lead the Mohigans to the Class AAA No.
1 ranking in the state and a berth in the state tournament where they were
upended, 63- 52, by No. 4 Huntington. Carey led Morgantown in scoring in that
loss with 13 points.
“ I think with us signing
Chris Carey there’s so many positives for us,” said firstyear FSU head coach
Tim Murphy. “ He’s about 6- 5 so he’s a big guard who is lefthanded and
one of the things I really like about him is that he knows how to play the game.
Being a coach’s son he’s
been around it all of his life.
“ One of the other things
we really like about him is he’s a tough, hard- nosed kid and I honestly
believe in this league you can win with kids like that. He certainly has that
quality and that’s what we want in our program.
“ I’ve been friends with
Mike a long time and he was pretty straight forward in the recruiting process
He said this is the league he
should be in right now and it was very good to work with him during the
recruiting process because he’s been through it and knows what it’s all
about. I think we’re very fortunate, especially in the early signing period,
to sign a player the caliber of Chris.”
Carey says watching some of
his former teammates last season go through the college recruiting process
during their season helped influence him to sign early if the opportunity
“ Watching Kameron Law and
Tyler Benson last year as seniors for Morgantown it seemed like they had a lot
of added pressure on them in terms of finding a college and with all of the
recruiting process,” said Carey. “ I just decided during the summer that if
I got an offer during the early signing period that I was comfortable with I was
going to take it and not wait around.
I’m very happy. Now I can
just relax, play ball and work on my game to get ready for adjustment to
Like all good high school
players, Carey knows the game changes a lot at the next level. He says he needs
to get stronger, faster and wants to work on getting his shot off quicker this
“ One of the things I
really want to work on is getting my shot off quicker,” said Carey.
“ I know playing guard in
the conference you go against a lot of quick guys and it’s a lot harder than
high school to get shots off. I also want to work on my ball handling. I’ve
already decided that I’m not going to play baseball this year so that after
our basketball season is over I can get in the weight room, get stronger, bigger
and work on my speed and agility. I’m going to put the work in, there’s no
doubt about that because I want to have the chance to compete next year.
“ I think I’m a pretty
hardnosed player and I play very hard when I’m on the floor. I also think
I’m a pretty good passer and I have the ability to take the ball to the hole
if I need to. I also understand and know the game pretty well too.”
Carey says he’s also
looking forward to being a part of Murphy’s rebuilding plan at Fairmont State,
which includes a stronger emphasis on recruiting high school and four- year
“ I like what coach Murphy
is doing in terms of his recruiting going with more high school players,” said
Carey. “ I understand you’ve got to get some junior college players to
compete immediately, but I think if you’re going to build a solid program
it’s nice to have players for four or five years so that you can work with
them and get them to do what you want in your program so that you can have
success in the future. I’m very excited about this opportunity.”
WVC schools interested in signing Carey included Alderson-Broaddus, Concord,
Shepherd, Glenville State and the University of Charleston.