Bettendorf (Iowa.) 2019 point guard D.J. Carton went into the spring as a relatively unknown prospect. By the end of July, Carton was one of the nation’s hottest point guards.  Picking up 11 offers since April, Carton established himself as one of the top 16U prospects in the NY2LA Sports Basketball Association and is now regarded as one of the top floor generals in the Midwest, if not the country. 

“We had a new team with a lot of talent, so I had to step up and be a leader,” Carton told NY2LA Sports. “I felt that was one area I improved on. When I became a leader, I could feel my whole game improve and my confidence took off. I wanted to be a facilitator, a true point guard, but also show I can score.  I felt like we had a great spring and summer.”

Carton has offers from Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Creighton, Missouri, Nebraska, Marquette, Northern Iowa, Kansas State, IUPUI, and North Dakota.  The 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior took a visit to Iowa over the weekend.

“I got to talk with Fran (McCaffery) in his office for quite a bit,” said Carton. “We talked some of the success he’s had. We didn’t just talk basketball, we built a relationship. I saw the campus. It’s very nice, it’s downtown, which is pretty cool. I watched them practice and I really liked how they get up and go and I feel like that’s where I play my best basketball.”

Carton visited Wisconsin on Monday, his third unofficial to Madison.  "We drove through campus a little bit," Carton said. "We ate down by the lake with Brad Davison, Ethan Happ, and D'Mitrik Trice. That was a good time. I really liked the campus. It's really nice. It's got everything there and a nice lake too. I also talked with the academic leader. They talked me through how classes work there and I really liked that. I also watched one of their practices."

Up next for Carton is a trip to Michigan, which he’ll take either this week or next week. The Wolverines have yet to offer, but things are moving quickly.  “Michigan just reached out about 3-4 days ago,” he said. “Coach (Luke) Yaklich just got down there. They said they don’t offer scholarships without having players on campus. I’m excited to see Ann Arbor. I know they have a big campus. I’m excited to meet the coaches and the players.”

Missouri will host Carton on Aug. 24. The Tigers offered during the final week of the July evaluation period.  “I saw them in Milwaukee a few times and they told my coach they had some interest,” said Carton. “I’ve been talking to them quite a bit and they really liked the way I played. I know Missouri has some really good talent coming in. They’re on the path to being a really good program and a Final Four team. I know they love to get up and down, so I really like that.”

Carton is also receiving interest from Baylor, Ohio State, UCLA, Stanford, and others.  Planning to play out next July before making a decision, Carton is taking everything in and enjoying a ride he didn’t see coming a year ago.

“Last year, I didn’t really think of myself as being in this position,” he said. “But I wanted to be here. A lot of hard work in the gym and the weight room started to pay off for me. I know I have to keep working. It’s just a blessing to be here.” 

Carton plays for Quad City Elite during the travel season.