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Chris Carey signs with FS Men's Basketball

By: Duane Cochran

FAIRMONT -- 11/24/2004

Chris Carey grew up around West Virginia Conference basketball.

Morgantown High School's Chris Carey, son of WVU Women's Basketball Coach Mike Carey, has signed to play basketball at Fairmont State. - photo

Next season hell 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 University.

I wanted to stay close to home and I knew I wanted to go somewhere in the conference to play, I just wasnt sure where, said Carey, who is the son of West Virginia University womens 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. Thats what influenced me to stay in the conference and to go to Fairmont.

Careys 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 Salems 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 theres so many positives for us, said firstyear FSU head coach Tim Murphy. Hes about 6- 5 so hes 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 coachs son hes been around it all of his life.

One of the other things we really like about him is hes 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 thats what we want in our program.

Ive been friends with Mike a long time and he was pretty straight forward in the recruiting process with Chris.

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 hes been through it and knows what its all about. I think were 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 presented itself.

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.

Im very happy. Now I can just relax, play ball and work on my game to get ready for adjustment to college.

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 year.

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 its a lot harder than high school to get shots off. I also want to work on my ball handling. Ive already decided that Im 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. Im going to put the work in, theres no doubt about that because I want to have the chance to compete next year.

I think Im a pretty hardnosed player and I play very hard when Im on the floor. I also think Im 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 hes also looking forward to being a part of Murphys rebuilding plan at Fairmont State, which includes a stronger emphasis on recruiting high school and four- year players.

I like what coach Murphy is doing in terms of his recruiting going with more high school players, said Carey. I understand youve got to get some junior college players to compete immediately, but I think if youre going to build a solid program its 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. Im very excited about this opportunity.

Other WVC schools interested in signing Carey included Alderson-Broaddus, Concord, Shepherd, Glenville State and the University of Charleston.