Pitt received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-2 inch Montverde Academy (FL) guard Marcus Carr Wednesday morning. Carr, originally from Canada, was a priority recruit for Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings and staff. He chose the Panthers over a number of top programs including Missouri, Minnesota, Houston, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati and Rhode Island.
Carr is the third player to join the Panthers’ 2017 recruiting class. He joins Paul IV (Fairfax, VA) guard Aaron Thompson (6-foot-2 inches, 175 pounds) and Tilton School (Tilton, NH) power forward / center Terrell Brown (6-foot-9 inches, 235 pounds).
“Marcus and I communicate on a daily basis. There’s a very tight circle of people that you trust and you have to have a strong support system. We pretty much talk on a daily basis,” said Carr’s AAU coach, Vidal Massiah. “Marcus was very comfortable at Pitt. The player-coach relationship is very important, especially for a point guard. He’s exhibited tremendous loyalty to me and our program since the seventh grade. I know in terms of character, who he is as a person, loyalty is a big, big factor. When you trust your coach, when you buy in, it’s huge for a point guard.”
“I think the history and trust he has with Coach Stallings and his staff going back to Vanderbilt. They recruited him through his injury for three years now. They were one of the first schools to offer him, definately the first high major school to offer him. The level of being comfortable and trusting that they know who he is as a player.”
Carr tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) shortly before his high school season a year ago. The injury may have caused trepidation with a number of coaches, but Stallings never wavered. He offered a scholarship to Marcus while at Vanderbilt and wasted little time offering once he accepted the head coaching position at Pitt.
“In terms of injury, Marcus is at least at one hundred percent, may be more. I’m being very honest with you,” he replied. “There’s no sign of injury or fatigue. A lot of coaches this summer were surprised he tore his ACL. From a physical standpoint, I don’t believe there’s anything to worry about. Obviously ACL tears aren’t what they used to be ten years ago. A lot of athletes are coming back stronger and more explosive. He’s still a young 17 years old and has a lot of maturing to do. I do think he hasn’t had a break out year yet in terms of athleticism and explosiveness. He still relies on his skill, which is great. In terms of maximizing his athletic potential, I don’t think this injury has set him back at all.”
Coach Massiah was asked about what Carr was like off the court. He stated, “Marcus is from a great family. He’s got an older brother that’s a senior at the University of South Carolina, so he comes from a good pedigree of athletes. He’s a great student, bright kid and very articulate. Everything you look for in a point guard, he has it. He’s got tremendous leadership qualities for someone that’s so young. He’s very vocal on the court and communicates with his coaches very well. He has no issue getting on his teammates if that’s what the situation calls for. When you put all that together, you get a mature player with tremendous potential.”
Corey Evans, managing editor at Hoop Seen (HoopSeen.com) commented on Carr stating, “While he is not an explosive athlete, he is one of the most consistent producers and competitors off of the east coast. He can be used off of the ball in smaller guard lineups where he has become a much better shooter on spot-up looks, yet his true value comes as a playmaker. Carr has a solid feel for the game as he doesn’t turn the ball over and tends to make others better regardless of the type of defense that he is facing. Defensively, the Montverde star could be a hound in containing either guard spot and should grow into a very reliable piece for the new staff at Pitt in the years ahead.”
Coach Massiah was asked about Carr’s strengths on the court. He added, “On the court, he’s a special talent with the ball. Marcus has a great feel for the game with the ball in his hands. He can set his teammates up, he can make plays for himself, and he can score with the ball. He’s a great decision maker. Off the ball, he can score and spot up the threes. He has a great mid-range floater and finishes well over traffic at the basket. I can see him earning the point guard spot and just be a player. Marcus’ biggest strength is that he’s dynamic enough and you can use him on and off the ball.”
Harry G. Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru
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