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Arizona State guard Jahii Carson was given two opportunities on Wednesday to put to rest any speculation of him returning to Tempe for his junior season. He declined to do so.

Naturally, speculation over his status -- whether or not he'd declare for the NBA draft -- began to swell. Analysts began to weigh in. Fans did the same.

He wasn't ready, they said. He needed to work on his defense, on and on.

But, following a modest nine-point, four-assist effort Saturday on Senior Day at Wells-Fargo Arena, the sophomore quelled the rumors. Carson had played his last game in Tempe -- a 78-60 ASU win over Cal -- he told the assembled media.

"For the most part," Carson answered, briefly -- and somewhat vaguely -- when he was directly asked after the game whether he had played his last game as a Sun Devil.

ASU coach Herb Sendek was far more clear.

"He's not coming back," he said after the game. "I know there was some rumblings after the last game."

But Sendek minced no words.

"We can count on him trying to go to the NBA next year," he went on.

With two Pac-12 games remaining on ASU's 2013-14 schedule, Carson has tallied 1,171 points in his two-year career in Tempe. In that span, he also has 305 assists. To date, he has a shooting percentage of 45.6. He is a career 73 percent free-throw shooter.

"He had a terrific two years with us," Sendek said.

Jules Tompkins,

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