Robby Carmody doesn’t have an off switch.
There are times when Carmody, a four-star sophomore guard from Mars, Pa., could justifiably scale back his effort. College coaches aren’t always watching. People know he’s not 100 percent healthy. Not every game during the spring AAU schedule really matters.
Good luck convincing Carmody of any of that. He just keeps grinding away, no matter the circumstances. It’s the type of thing that makes a coaching staff take note.
“I honestly don’t know if you’ll find a kid or a young man at this point that works harder,” said Dan Urban, his coach with Ohio Basketball Club. “Louisville offered a couple weeks ago and their whole thing was, ‘I don’t know if I’ve seen a kid play that hard.’ His motor is unbelievable. I wish I could bottle it up. He just goes and goes. He plays so hard.
“He’s had a great spring, a very good spring. But I’ve seen him much better. I think his best basketball is still ahead of him. He’s been a little banged up and stuff.”
Carmody impressed many during the April live periods when college coaches could get an in-person look.
Cincinnati, Duquesne, Louisville, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rice and Xavier have offered. Mike Brey officially put the Irish in play last week, making Carmody their first offer in the Class of 2018.
Brey watched the 6-foot-4, 190-pound prospect with Ohio Basketball Club on the adidas circuit. Carmody knows plenty about Notre Dame too after visiting last season.
“You’ve almost gotta see him in person,” Urban said. “He’s relentless. Even coach Brey said, ‘I knew he was banged up. But you can just tell he’s got that killer instinct, that look in his eye.’ Even when he’s banged up he gives us everything he’s got. He’s a guy that at times is gonna have to manage how hard he plays.
“He plays so hard and at times puts himself in the situation where he gets banged up here and there. He drains his gas tank until it’s on (empty). He’ll go so hard until he has nothing left. It’s beyond impressive.”
Carmody can trace the roots of that toughness. He drew a path straight back to football, which still rules the high school sporting world in his hometown and the surrounding area.
Mars is about a half hour north of Pittsburgh. Notre Dame’s football program, for example, has three commitments in the Class of 2017 from that region — four-star offensive tackle Josh Lugg (Wexford) plus four-star linebacker David Adams and three-star defensive tackle Kurt Hinish, teammates at Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
No stranger to the football field, Carmody thinks finding some success there at a young age helped mold him as a basketball player.
“Western Pennsylvania is all about football,” Carmody said. “Starting probably freshman year, I started varsity in football. I think going out there and seeing I can take hits and stuff and I can give them out and it’s not gonna hurt me, basketball is nothing like that. I think it’s given me a little bit of an edge just learning all the toughness that comes with football.”
Carmody mixes some football toughness with a flourishing basketball skill set and a mind for the game. The latter can be traced on a direct line as well.
His father, Rob, is the head basketball coach at Mars High School. Being the son of a coach often leads to an advanced understanding of the game at a young age. It can also help define what you seek at the college level a little earlier.
Style of play isn’t something Carmody just talks about. And it goes beyond playing hard.
“I think if you define him as a shooting guard or a small forward, I think you limit what he does well,” Urban said. “I think a school that will let him play or guard multiple positions will be a place where he’ll excel. He’s coached hard. His dad coaches him hard, we coach him hard. He’s gonna want somewhere that’s gonna coach him hard. I would say style of play, Notre Dame is a great fit for him with their style of offense. They spread the floor and use a lot of ball screens. That fits him really well.
“He shoots the hell out of it also. I think that really suits him as well. You put him somewhere and slow him down and restrict what he does when he’s going fast, you take away what he’s great at.”