Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Yes, Tony Carr cut his list down to 11 schools just a few days ago.
But he quickly realized that didn’t help end the deluge of calls and texts that he’s been getting lately from the high-major schools who all want him to be their next point guard, including a few schools that he knew just didn't quite stack up in his mind to some others.
And with it looking more and more like a hip injury would prevent him from getting back out in front of college coaches before the July live periods ended (thus ending one of his last chances to pick up some new suitors), the rising senior at Roman Catholic realized that having a list of 11 wasn’t doing him any good.
“It was just kind of getting stressful, coaches calling me and me already having a feel for what schools I wanted to seriously look into,” he said. “I just thought that I would get serious with it and start cutting my list down.”
So now there are five schools remaining in the running for the 6-foot-4 point guard, who’s ranked in the top 60 in his class by all the major scouting services.
In no particular order: Temple. Penn State. Providence. Maryland. Southern Methodist.
Here are Carr’s unedited thoughts on each of the five:
Temple: “Temple’s my hometown team, I feel like I could do something special if I decided to stay here and just bring back that program with other players like Shawn Alston and Trey Lowe.”
Providence: “I have a good relationship with their coach, he’s straight with me and I like his vision and he lets his point guards play, so I feel like I could be very successful at Providence.”
Maryland: “They’ve been recruiting me since last year, so me and the coaching staff have a great relationship. They have a good program, they’re ranked pretty high, and I’d get to play with some other great players from that area, and my game could prosper.”
Southern Methodist: “I have a good relationship with coach (Larry) Brown, he has a great program there and he believes in my 100 percent, and I just believed in what he’s saying to me. I feel like if I go there he can make me a better point guard and my game can go to the next level.”
Penn State: “I think I have the best relationship with their coaching staff, I’ve visited there a few times, the campus is beautiful. I can go there and play with one of my best friends, Nazeer Bostick, it would be a very easy transition, and I can go there and try to change that program around.”
Aside from Carr’s ultimate college destination, the other big storyline involving his recruitment has been that of his Team Final teammate, Lamar Stevens, who is transferring to Roman this year in order to (among other reasons) play with his best friend for their final year of high school.
The two said back in the spring that it was a near-certainty that they would be playing together in college, but reality might get in the way.
Temple, Penn State, Maryland and Southern Methodist have offered both. Stevens has indicated that he wants to take official visits to Indiana and Pitt, two schools no longer on Carr’s list--and he also likes Villanova, which never offered Carr.
So that plan is certainly up in the air at the moment.
“I would definitely like to do it, but as of now I’ve cut my list to five and he hasn’t officially cut his yet,” Carr said. “So maybe if he cut his, or once he sees me cut my list, he could cut his to some similar schools. As of now, I would like to go to the same college, but he would have to cut his list to the same schools as me.”
Now that he has his final five schools set, the next step for Carr is to plan his official visits, and how many he’ll take.
He’s already been on the campus of schools like Temple and Penn State numerous times, and he’s not yet sure whether or not he needs to see them again (even officially) before he makes his final choice, "more than likely" at the end of August or early September.
“The deciding factor is going to be where I’m most comfortable at,” he said, “and where I can go in and play my game from my freshman year, the best fit for me and my family.”