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Updated Nov 21, 2013 - 8:31 am

Carson's special performance boosts ASU's tournament resume

Arizona State's Jahii Carson drives to the hoop past UNLV's Deville Smith during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, in Las Vegas. Carson scored 40 points as Arizona State defeated UNLV 86-80. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Jahii Carson put on a show Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

It was one of those special performances that won't be soon forgotten by those who saw it. He scored 26 of his 40 points in the second half and imposed his will on UNLV in a great six-point road win for the Devils.

Now at 4-0 on the season, ASU has a chance to do something it hasn't done since 1985 if it can beat Bradley Friday night -- start 5-0.

The performance by Carson was one that reminded fans not how good he is, but how good he has become. Carson took the summer to work on his overall game. The Mesa product who chose ASU over Arizona, UCLA, Washington and Texas, went to the LeBron James Skills Academy, the Deron Williams camp and the Adidas Camp to work on his game.

Carson improved on shooting the three, driving to his left and running a team. Those strides were on full display against UNLV.

With ASU trailing 56-49, he hit consecutive three-pointers to bring the Devils to within three. His fast-break basket tied the score at 59. His rebound and coast-to-coast basket that showed off his control, footwork and change of speeds all in one play put ASU up 63-61. He then converted a block from Jordan Bachynski into a fast break basket for a 68-65 lead and set Jermaine Marshall up for a back-breaking three and a five-point lead. Down the stretch, he hit four straight free throws.

It was a sensational performance against a team that was 37-5 at home under head coach Dave Rice. And the win will do wonders for ASU should it find itself on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

How much that one game will do for Carson's draft status is yet to be determined, but it certainly didn't hurt. More importantly, it gave Carson and Sun Devil fans an unforgettable memory.

About the Author

School: School of Street Smarts

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: 6 years ago

Favorite sports memory: Bucky Dent's home run over the Green Monster in the one-game playoff vs the Red Sox in 1978

Favorite all-time athlete: Tommy John

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers and Field of Dreams


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