“Arizona State is the hometown school and coach Sendek has been recruiting me hard ever since I de-committed from Oregon State,” said the 5-10 Jahii Carson. “I think it’s the best opportunity for me to make an impact as a freshman. I knew for a while that I was going to be a Sun Devil. I might as well just get it over with and commit.
“When I told the coaches about my decision, coach Taylor and coach Pera were running around the room, high fiving everyone. I was there with my parents, my aunt, my two cousins. It was a family affair and we all gave each other hugs.”
Much has been said of Carson needing to be convinced that Arizona State will run an up-tempo offense that will suit his skills. Throughout his recruitment this matter became less and less of an issue and naturally at this point Carson is fully convinced that he shouldn’t have any problems playing in a scheme that complements his attributes.
“When I watch wing players at ASU like Trent (Lockett), Keala (King) and Carrick (Felix),” Carson explained, “and see how athletic they are and how hard they work, and I know when I come in they all will still be there. You see how they play and you think ‘who wouldn’t run with these types of athletes?’
“I have no problems believing coach Sendek when he says that he will run. I’m good friends with Ty Abbott and he told me that coach Sendek is always a man of his word. That’s huge for me and that helped me make my decision. With all the athletes on this team you can’t help but run. Sendek told me that with me at point guard we can make a run at the national championship.”
Carson said that his friendship with Felix, who he played with earlier in his AAU career, certainly played a part in his decision.
“He told me that even though he has been here for just two months he has already become a better player,” Carson commented. “He works hard in the weight room and playing with the other players has really helped develop his skills. That’s something I like to hear because I do want to play professionally when I’m done with college so I want to go to a place that can make me a better player.”
The four-star point guard, ranked 12th nationally by Scout.com received offers from coast to coast from St. John’s and Marquette to virtually every school in the Pac-10. Nonetheless, Carson isn’t interested in checking out those schools before he signs a letter of intent in November.
“Not at all,” he said about possibly taking future visits.
The Jackrabbit point guard is arguably the best in-state prospect in the 2011 class and as a junior he shot 43% from three-point range. He averaged 23.3 points, 5.5 assists and 2.2, 2.0 steals a game for Mesa who finished 25-5 this past season and reached the state’s 5A-1 state tournament quarterfinals.
Much has been said in the recruiting circles that Carson and fellow 2011 guard Nick Johnson will stay in-state and whichever sate school landed the one player its archrival will get a pledge from the other. Sure enough Johnson committed a couple of days ago to the University of Arizona.
Yet, while it’s no surprise to many that this scenario materialized Carson claimed that Johnson’s decision didn’t affect his.
“We had different lists of schools we wanted to go to,” Carson said. “Johnson was talking about going to Kansas and Louisville and he wanted to play the point guard because that’s where he felt he could be the most effective and that’s why he went to U of A.
“I could see myself playing with him, but I also know we play the same position. I wanted to stay home and go to either Arizona or Arizona State. So when he chose Arizona, and Arizona State was the school I always wanted to go to anyways, I felt that is where I need to go.”