Diving into Marcus Carr expectations with The Minnesota Daily

Christina Huang, Sports Reporter

Since head coach Chris Beard’s squad for his first season in Austin is heavily made up of transfers, fans might not know much about those who will don the burnt orange come basketball season. The Daily Texan spoke with The Minnesota Daily’s sports writers AJ Condon and Tony Liebert about what fans can expect from former Minnesota guard Marcus Carr.

The Daily Texan: What do you think Texas should expect from Marcus Carr as a player?

AJ Condon: The fans will be impressed by what they see on the court, in the game or in practice. He is a super hard worker. He gives his all every day, whether the team’s down by 20 or up by 20. You know what you’re gonna get from Marcus. He’s a great athlete. He can score on all three levels, he developed a good jump shot last year, he’s able to shoot the three. And then the best part of his game is driving to the hoop — acrobatic finishes. That will make for highlight-reel plays. (He’s an) exciting guy to watch all around.

Tony Liebert: I think (Texas) should expect a score-first guard that consistently makes plays to help his team win. I know that’s a pretty basic answer, but he is a score-first guard that makes smart basketball plays.

The Daily Texan: What are some of Carr’s greatest strengths?

TL: His playmaking, I would say, is probably his biggest one. He makes smart plays when he’s on (the court). He keeps shooting. When he’s not making the shots, then he becomes a facilitator. So I would just say basketball IQ. He’s a smart basketball player.

The Daily Texan: What do you think makes Carr such a special talent?

AC: I think it’s his ability to score on all three levels. Teams can’t just let him shoot the three because he will make them pay for it. He developed a nice little step-back three last year that he actually hit a few times in very key spots to tie the game or the game-winner, so that brings another whole other aspect of his game. It’s really hard to guard the guy because he really can do almost everything.

The Daily Texan: What are your thoughts on Carr’s work ethic and how he operates?

AC: I’m really impressed by his work ethic and just how much he cares about the game. He wants to make everyone around him better. He cares about the team, not just personal goals, he wants the team to perform well. He’s more worried about the team succeeding as a whole than just him personally scoring 30 points. If he scores 30 points and the team loses, (then) he’s more worried about the team improving as a whole, and I thought that was very, very impressive. And he’s a great leader.

The Daily Texan: What are some of his weaknesses?

TL: There are times where it gets a little bit lazy on defense. I feel like not more than a normal basketball player, though. He definitely has room to improve on the defensive end. He plays too aggressively sometimes and goes for steals that just cause wide-open layups. I would say, if he has any weakness, it would be defensively, like on-ball defense, or every once in a while he gets a little too shot happy.

The Daily Texan: If you had to compare Carr to a current NBA player, who would you compare him to?

AC: Damian Lillard. Carr is a huge clutch factor, especially last year. I feel like they’re both similar in size and (Lillard) can also get to the rim pretty often and pretty uniquely, so I think I’ll stick with Damian Lillard.

TL: Eric Bledsoe. He was on the Bucks for a while. Marcus Carr’s very athletic. (He) uses speed to get to the hoop. He’s not a terrific shooter, but he can go through stretches where he is; he has the athleticism to be an elite defender, but it kind of goes in and out. So yeah, I’d probably say Eric Bledsoe would be my best comparison.