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Sun Devils moving on without Jahii Carson

After months of waiting, head coach Herb Sendek and the
Arizona State Sun Devils finally got the answer they’ve
been waiting for concerning Jahii Carson. It just wasn’t
the answer they wanted to hear.

Friday, the freshman guard out of Mesa High School was
ruled ineligible for this season by the NCAA. Carson’s
second ACT score and core class GPA did not meet freshman
eligibility requirements, so he’ll sit this season out.

But, in a minor victory, the NCAA ruled that Carson can
practice with his team, something that was not permitted
during the waiting period.

“Right now, we’re just thrilled he’s able to start
practicing with us, I think that’s a real positive,”
Sendek said on Friday. “He’s going to be with us on a
regular basis now in practice. And then we’ll look
forward to having him next season for games.”

The fact that Carson picked ASU was a coup for Sendek and
his staff. At Mesa, the 5-foot-11 guard led the
Jackrabbits to the AIA Division I semifinals before losing
to Brophy Prep in a game where Carson had 58 points.

Carson also spoke to the media on Friday, and tried to
remain optimistic through his disappointment. He’s
looking forward to actually being around his teammates for
the first time.

“Getting to bond with them is something that I really
wanted to do,” he said. “I have a lot of friends on the
team, just being around them every day and getting to know
them better personally and athletically is definitely
something I want to do.”

Carson also made it clear that despite his ordeal, he
never considered leaving Arizona State to go the JUCO
route.

“I gave my pledge to Coach Sendek and the ASU basketball
staff and I was going to stick with that,” Carson said.
“Coach Sendek recruited me tougher than any other coach in
the country did when I was a senior in high school and
Arizona State was the place for me. JUCO never crossed my
mind, nor leaving Arizona State.

“I was part of the Arizona State family when I signed in
November of last year, and I’m going to be with the ASU
family.”

Even though Carson won’t be in uniform for the rest of
this season, Sendek says the guard will still have an
impact on the team.

“Jahii can help us in practice and I think it’ll be really
good for him,” Sendek said. “It should make our practices
more competitive so I think it’s a really a thunderbolt of
good news for us today.”