The debate of which point guard is the nation’s best tends to end rather quickly thanks to the presence of Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart. Yes, an Aaron Craft (Ohio State) can enter the discussion, but it’s tough to argue with a player who would have been a high lottery pick had he not made the decision to return to Stillwater for his sophomore season.
Another point guard who deserves mention is Arizona State sophomore Jahii Carson, who arrived on the scene after sitting out the 2011-12 season and nearly helped to lead the Sun Devils to the NCAA tournament. For his efforts Carson was named Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year (shared with UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad), and in many circles he’s the early favorite to win Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2013-14.
As for the question of who the nation’s fastest point guard may be, that discussion may not take very long either. Approximately 3.4 seconds to be more concise, thanks to the efforts of Arizona State administrative assistant Andrew Taylor.
Taylor grabbed one play from Arizona State’s 72-62 win at Oregon State on January 10 that illustrates just how fast Carson is. (Yes, Memphis’ Joe Jackson may have an argument.)
Doug Haller of AZCentral.com took the time to break down the play, which began with a made free throw by Oregon State’s Devon Collier, step by step.
Of course there will be arguments that the inbounds pass from Jonathan Gilling didn’t hurt in Carson’s quest to go from end to end, but this display of speed with the basketball is something else. And that trait (speed) is just one reason why Carson’s so highly regarded within the Pac-12 (and nationally).
Can he lead the Sun Devils to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2009? That’s certainly a possibility, and players such as Jordan Bachynski and Jermaine Marshall (transfer from Penn State) will help in this mission.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.