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Establishing role players will be key for Arizona State this season

PAC-12 Men's Basketball Media Day

Getty Images

Getty Images

Jahii Carson isn’t a secret by any stretch of the imagination.

Arizona State’s redshirt sophomore put on a show in the Sun Devils’ win over UNLV earlier this season, and followed that up with 23 points in last night’s win over No. 25 Marquette.

There’s a reason that he is No. 2 in our current Player of the Year Power Rankings, and it has a lot to do with those two performances and his season averages of 23.0 points, 5.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds. He’s also upped his three-point shooting to 56.0% from 32.0% as a freshman.

But that’s not the only thing that makes Carson good, according to Marquette head coach Buzz Williams.

“His physical gifts are obvious, but I think he makes his teammates better,” Williams said, according to’s Doug Haller. “He gives the ball to (sophomore forward Jonathan Gilling) where he can catch and shoot. He gives the ball to (senior center Jordan Bachynski) where he can turn over his right shoulder. I think he understands what (senior guard Jermaine Marshall) is. I think he understands what (senior wing Shaquielle McKissic) and (freshman wing Egor Koulechov) are. That’s what you want in a lead guard. He’s talented, but does he make his teammates better? I think he definitely does.”

The key for Arizona State this season is to establish role players. Carson’s great and Bachynski and Marshall are good secondary options. But the emergence of guys like Gilling, McKissic and Koulechov will be the difference between Arizona State competing and Arizona State winning games.

So if Carson is the kind of point guard that makes the rest of the guys around him better, that’s certainly good news for head coach Herb Sendek.

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