Carson talks ASU offer

When Jahii Carson committed to Oregon State nearly a year ago many schools, including Arizona State were shut out of his recruitment. In early April the local Mesa High School guard decommitted from the Beavers, and that opened the proverbial recruiting door which Sun Devils didn't waste any time coming through and ultimately extending a scholarship offer.

"I was very happy when they offered me," said the 5-10 Jahii Carson about the Arizona State offer. "I knew that they were recruiting me for a while but I never knew if they were going to take that further and offer me. So when I got the offer I was ecstatic. Before I committed to Oregon State I didn't hear much from them and after I decommitted they were one of the first schools to contact me."

"Coach Sendek told me that he liked my game. They are looking to be more up tempo and push the ball on offense and they thought I would be a good fit for that. When I watched ASU I liked their style of play and you could tell that they were very prepared for every game and that they develop their players. I watched every home game I could and you could tell that they were an exciting team."

Carson added that he's close to current Sun Devil guard Ty Abbott and is naturally a fan of his and was happy to see him do well this past season.

"They have been pretty persistent and came when they could to see him work out," Mesa Head Coach Shane Burcar stated concerning ASU's recruiting efforts. "They have really built a good relationship with him. They were respectful to him when he committed to Oregon State and now that he has opened it up they've been on him pretty aggressively and it's exciting to him because it's his hometown school.

"Jahii didn't know that ASU liked him all along because he committed so early. He's excited about the offer and I think it's important for ASU to get a player like this in their backyard."

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.

"Keep in mind that this school has been around since 1912," Coach Burcar said, "and last season Jahii broke the single season scoring record with 698 points and also the single season assists record 172. He's a pure shooter and what makes it so hard to guard him is that he will kick it out to a teammate if you double on him – he's very unselfish. We love to run and gun, and he does a great job penetrating and running the fast break."

Carson's 5-10 stature may have kept some teams from pursuing him and doing so would be a mistake according to the Jackrabbits' skipper.

"His height is absolutely a non-factor," Burcar commented. "He's obviously very athletic and his basketball IQ takes care of the rest. If schools don't recruit him because of his height they will miss out. He can flat out play. He's a great leader for us and the younger guys not only look up to him because the way he plays, but also because he will help players out. He'll take them aside and tell them what they did wrong. He's a very hard worker and that's why I think he will be an unbelievable player."

"I can take it to the rim, but also stop a dime and shoot it mid-range," Carson said of his skills. "I do shoot it well from three-point but I could get better at that and be more of a consistent shooter. I do a good job pushing the ball and getting everybody involved. I could also work more on my defense."

Carson committed to Beavers at the end of his sophomore year while he was still playing at Mountain Pointe High School, and did so at the time because he simply felt that Oregon State was the best fit for him. Later on he felt that he rushed his decision and wanted to see what other options he may have had out there and go through the recruiting process. Subsequently, he rescinded his pledge.

In recent weeks UNLV, Cal, along with ASU have offered the guard. Schools such as UCLA, USC, Cal, Marquette, UNLV, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Butler, and Illinois have been pursuing the Mesa star in earnest.

Oregon State hasn't withdrawn its offer to Carson and according to Burcar that school is still very much a part of the guard's recruiting picture.

"There was never any bad blood between him and Oregon State and he has a lot of respect for Coach Robinson," Burcar remarked. "Oregon State is still an option and obviously did a good job building a relationship with Jahii. I would absolutely not eliminate Oregon State as an option."

Carson indicated that he seeks out a few criteria that will help him narrow down his list of favorites in the future and eventually settle on a school.

"I just want to go to a place where I have a very good relationship with the coaching staff," Carson explained. "If that happens to be ASU then it's cool that I get stay close to home. But I can see myself feeling comfortable on the east coast too.

"I also want to come to a school that plays an up tempo style and a program that will have a lot of good players around me."

The guard will continue and play on the Compton Magic AAU club, and the various tournaments he will participate in this summer could possibly intensify the recruiting interest he is receiving.

"I want to wait so I can make the best decision for me and keep my options open," Carson said. "I know that if I play well in the AAU tournaments in July I could get more offers and that's what I want.

"I do know that I will have a decision by November and will sign then."

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