Jahii Carson was the most exciting player to wear an Arizona State uniform since James Harden. The question is now whether or not Carson can produce at the highest level of basketball.
Time at ASU: Carson was one of the most hyped recruits ever to commit to Arizona State and made news before he even stepped onto the court. He prepped locally at Mesa High School and was ranked the No. 7 point guard recruit and No. 33 player in the country by Rivals. He averaged 32.2 points and 6.6 points per game his senior season at Mesa and led them to a state semifinal appearance where he dropped 58 points against Brophy Prep in a losing effort.
Carson was ruled academically ineligible his freshman season at Arizona State, but it says something about his character that he didn't give up, worked hard in the offseason and stayed at Arizona State to play his college basketball. In his first season on the court for the Sun Devils, Carson averaged 18.5 points and 5.1 assists per game and helped lead the Sun Devils to a 22-13 record and an NIT appearance where the maroon and gold beat Detroit but lost to Baylor. He was named co-Pac-12 Freshman of the Year alongside Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA and had one of the best freshman campaigns in Arizona State basketball history.
In his second season in Tempe, Carson averaged 18.7 points and 4.6 assists per game. He had a 40-point effort against UNLV and lifted the Sun Devils to some big out-of-conference wins including No. 25 Marquette while also aiding the maroon and gold to impressive and nail biting victories in Pac-12 play over No. 2 Arizona and the Oregon schools.
Strengths: Carson can jump out of the building. He recorded a 43.5 inch maximum vertical at the NBA combine and can dunk the ball with ease. He's also very shifty in the lane and has a very impressive euro-step and seems to spin the ball off the glass with ease. Carson isn't afraid to sacrifice his body going to the rim and has an ability to use his smaller stature to draw fouls. His ball handling including his crossover and hesitation moves are notable as well. In his second season Carson somewhat developed a better touch on his floaters which he used to his advantage.
Weaknesses: Carson's most glaring issue is his size, standing only 5-foot-11. His defense isn't completely shutdown either as their were numerous instances last season where he struggled to get over the top of ball screens. It has been noted that Carson also has issues shooting off the dribble and has not fully developed his midrange game either. Although he continues to shoot an acceptable percentage (39.1) from beyond the three point line, his shooting stroke isn't fundamentally sound which could worry some NBA teams as well.
Mock draft rankings: He's been placed at 55th to the Miami Heat and 57th to the Indiana Pacers by Draft Express. NBA Draft Insider had him going 53rd to the Minnesota Timberwolves. ESPN's Chad Ford has him 55th to the Heat as well.
NBA combine measurements (via Draft Express): Height with shoes: 5-foot-11, Weight: 180, Standing reach: 7-foot-9, Body fat: 6.5 percent, No-step vertical: 33.5 inches.
Reported workouts: Atlanta, Utah, Phoenix, Milwaukee, New York, Toronto, Philadelphia, Washington
Prediction: 57th overall to the Indiana Pacers