His highlight reel has made him an internet sensation and, on Friday, Aquille Carr of Patterson High School (Md.), the man behind those 2.8 million hits on YouTube, committed to Seton Hall, via his Twitter account.
Carr is a member of the Class of 2013 and, if he follows through and signs with the Pirates, would be head coach Kevin Willard’s biggest signee in his short tenure in South Orange. The flashy and skilled Carr has a wide-reaching and incredibly loyal following in his hometown of Baltimore and, at just five-feet, six-inches tall, is one of the most unique players in the country.
This much can be said with confidence: Aquille Carr is a player with incredible raw talent and his name alone, along with the weight it carries, will sell tickets and put people in the stands.
But Carr is the foremost example of the public image of a player that can emerge in the newly-blossoming Mixtape Era of high-level high school basketball.
Let me preface this by saying, yes, I’ve see Carr play in person and spoken to him. At times, he has put on a show that, for a player his size, I’ve never see before. He can make defenders dance with his tight ballhandling skills, can finish at the basket through contact that should floor a guy his size, and can create for and find teammates when he gets into the lane.
He plays with a style and a flair that is fun to watch and there’s a reason he’s called “The Crimestopper” in Baltimore. (When he plays, so many people come out to see him that he effectively lowers the crime rate.)
News surfaced back in May, though reports were later denied, that Carr was offered a $750,000 contract from a team in Italy, after a dominating performance in an overseas tournament.
Now you see where the hype comes from.
But he’s not invincible, and that’s something some fail to understand, having only seen a mixtape that strings together two minutes and thirty seconds of sensational highlights. He has flaws, just as any other high-level prospect.
At times, he is prone to taking bad shots and making bad passes, and his defensive energy will have to improve significantly if he wants to compete on that end of the floor in the Big East.
It’s all a balance, and constructive critics cannot be dismissed.
He is well-deserving of the high marks he’s received from most scouts and analysts, but be weary of branding him with any lofty nicknames, just yet.
Let’s see what he can do against Syracuse, Georgetown, and Louisville, first.