Arizona St.’s season may depend on Carson’s eligibility

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The 2011-2012 season was already looking bleak for Arizona State.

After being picked to finish 9th in the preseason Pac-12 media poll, the Sun Devils have fallen to 1-2 on the season, including a loss at home to lowly Pepperdine, 66-60.

But Herb Sendek and company could get a boost, depending on the NCAA’s ruling on highly-touted freshman point guard Jahii Carson.

Carson, the flashy Phoenix product who attended Mesa High School (Az.), is a top 50 prospect in the Class of 2011 who has gained popularity on the internet with his online mixtapes.

Coming into Arizona State, Carson’s ACT score and core GPA did not meet eligibility requirements. He recently took the ACT again, and is waiting for the results. That score will be sent to the NCAA and the Sun Devils would get word on a ruling.

Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic helps lay out the possible scenarios for Carson’s return:

If his scores ACT scores are high enough and the NCAA rules Carson a full qualifier, he will begin the process of assimilating with the team and, depending on his progress, could see significant minutes.

If his scores do not meet NCAA benchmarks, Carson would not play for the Sun Devils this season. He would be barred from practicing or traveling with the team, but would still have access to Arizona State’s academic support team and facilities. He would begin his college career in 2012, joining a Sun Devils class that already features three commits.

Carson is an exceptional ballhandler and creative passer, a player that some thought could be in the running for Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.

The Sun Devils’ next game is on Thanksgiving night against Fairfield at 9:30pm ET.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_