There’s no denying that Arizona State’s Jahii Carson is one of the top freshman in the entire country this season.
The Mesa High School product, who sat out last season while becoming academically eligible, is averaging a team-leading 17.1 points and 5.2 assists per game and is one of the biggest reasons for the Sun Devils’ turnaround this season.
The Sun Devils head into Saturday’s rivalry game with Arizona sporting a 14-3 record — a four-win improvement over their 2011-12 mark.
These days, when freshmen have success the obvious question on everyone’s mind is how long they’ll play at the NCAA level before chasing fame and fortune in the National Basketball Association. As one of the top first-year players in the nation, it’s something Carson must think about. He answered the question Thursday while chatting with Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620.
“It really just depends on how well I play and how well my stock improves,” he said. “In the college situation, your coaches let you know pretty much what your stock is and what GMs are saying.
“But you know, I’m a hometown guy, and I just got here to college and I don’t see myself leaving too early.”
Currently, NBADraft.net lists nine freshmen among the 60 players it projects to be drafted by NBA teams in June. Carson isn’t one of them.
Carson plays with an undeniable swagger on the court, but is also realistic when diagnosing what he needs to better in his game.
“Definitely I need to go left,” he said. “I can finish left, I can go left just as good as my right, I just don’t feel as comfortable going left as I do going right.
“And I’ve got to get more comfortable with my mid-range jumpshot. Now deeper in conference, I’m starting to get in there and hit some mid-range shots, but I for sure need to start shooting it more and having confidence that I can make more.”