Prospect watch: 2014 point guard Robert Cartwright

Robert Cartwright, 6-2, 168
Flintridge Prep | L.A. Rockfish
Scout: Four stars | Rivals: Three stars

Robert Cartwright is a well-rounded player who projects as a good four-year point guard, but one who hasn’t drawn too much attention from high-major programs. He was impressive dishing on the break at last weekend’s Pangos Sweet 16, feeding a teammate with one particularly nice behind-the-back pass.

Cartwright isn’t an exceptional athlete and looked a little smaller than his listed 6-foot-2 height, but he works hard on the defensive end. He played through the tournament with stitches under his right eye, and also had a bruised lip by the end. He can hit his pull-up jumper consistently and isn’t afraid to take it, hitting big shots down the stretch in L.A. Rockfish’s 59-58 overtime win Sunday over the Las Vegas Prospects.

He recently picked up offers from Stanford and San Diego State, and also has schools such as Harvard, Princeton, Utah and Colorado after him. Cartwright’s parents are both UCLA alumni, but the Bruins haven’t recruited him very actively — spending the majority of their efforts on point guards Josh Perkins and Jordan McLaughlin. Both Steve Alford and David Grace saw him while watching his teammate Thomas Welsh, a 7-foot center who holds a UCLA offer.

Q: How’s your recruitment been so far?

It’s great. I’ve got a lot of college coaches who have been involved in my recruitment a long time. I’ve got a lot of great schools. I’m very, very happy with it. Couldn’t be happier.

Q: Do you have any favorites or a shortlist?

Right now, what I’m doing is just worrying about July. I have a lot of schools that I like, a lot of schools that like me, which is great. But I think right now, I’m just focusing on the July period. Right after, in August, I’ll begin to make a shortlist and start taking visits.

Q: So you won’t be deciding until after the summer?

No, definitely not. Hopefully not too long, because sometimes it can be a little stressful, but I’m very happy with it and I don’t need to rush it. I don’t know yet (exactly when I’ll decide). I’m not going to take a lot of time, probably, but I don’t know yet. We’ll see.

Q: How much has UCLA talked to you?

Not that much. Maybe they’ll be a little bit more now, but I’ve only talked to Coach (David) Grace once, so they’re not that involved. Just hello. Just wanted to start maybe building a relationship a little bit. That’s about it.

Q: What do you think stands out about your game?

I’m just trying to be a point guard, the best I can be. I’m just trying to be a consummate point guard and a leader. Trying to whatever I can to help my team win — offensively, defensively. Today I scored a little bit more. Next game, I’ll be more of a distributor. Just whatever happens (in a game). … I can shoot, I can drive, I can play defense. Whatever works.

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  • Jacob Ramirez

    Not a typical top tier talent UCLA goes hard after. What is it you are trying to get across? Is he really a top prospect to watch? If we were up in the bay area expecting mediocrity id be okay with it. Its either National title or bust! Come on Wang! “Whatever works”, right?

    • Jack Wang

      He’s the clear-cut best option after Perkins and McLaughlin. I think UCLA should be recruiting him a little more than they have been.

      • Alex Demyanenko

        He totally dominated McLaughlin head to head this year, scoring 37 on JM. When they were slated to go head to head again, JM ducked the game, first claiming a knee injury and then an arm injury. Then a spider bite. Fail.

        • Jack Wang

          I heard McLaughlin actually went to the hospital to get the elbow checked out, but not positive. Anyway, his absence actually flustered Cartwright a lot and he didn’t play well. Was very frustrated afterward. Love his intensity, and I hope he opts for the Pac-12 so I can follow his career more closely.

    • MCB

      How is he not a top tier talent? He’s rates four stars by scout and #16 nationally at his position. Go look at the ratings for recruits from places like Kansas. UNC, or Syracuse and you will see that top flight national programs are happy to get recruits rated at about this level, particular where they are a good “fit” and provide depth by being likely four year players.

      With that said, Alford’s recruiting so far has not exactly been inspiring. It’s still early, however. We will see.