Updated Nov 21, 2013 - 8:31 am
Carson's special performance boosts ASU's tournament resume
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.
John Gambadoro, Co-host of Burns & Gambo