It appears Chris Beard has just landed his first starting point guard on the Forty Acres.
After initially entering the transfer portal and testing the NBA waters before withdrawing his name in late June, highly-touted point guard Marcus Carr is remaining among the college ranks and has committed to the Texas Longhorns, bypassing a professional opportunity in Australia in the process, he announced on Instagram.
The recruitment of Carr unfolded relatively quickly, and Texas managed to win out over some especially intriguing options. Beyond a professional opportunity overseas, it was reported on July 5 that Carr was also considering a trio of college basketball’s most notable programs in Kentucky, Kansas, and Louisville. A bit of backcourt congestion in Lexington and Lawrence likely helped the Horns’ case a bit, but like Texas, Louisville certainly could have benefited from adding Carr to the mix.
However, Texas got the first chance at earning Carr’s pledge when he visited Austin and was pictured with other members of the Longhorns’ program on Tuesday, a visit during the dead period made possible by Carr signing an Athletic Scholarship Agreement with the Longhorns. Days later, Carr cancelled his pending trip to Louisville, leaving only Texas and a professional path on the table.
Of course, Texas proved to be the more appealing option, and thus, the Longhorns have landed a talent in Carr who was ranked by ESPN as the top transfer prospect before going through the draft process, and who was ranked by CBS as the second-best transfer.
Carr’s productivity certainly supports those rankings.
As a junior, Carr averaged 19.4 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game en route to first-team All-Big Ten honors. He’s an athletic option at point guard who can score from all three levels, as well as the free-throw line, as evident by his scoring output, which helped him score at least 25 points seven times last season, including a 41-point display against Nebraska. However, he can be a bit streaky and thus, inefficient when shots aren’t falling and he forces his offense a bit.
The hope in Austin, of course, is that with such a loaded roster abundant with proven scorers surrounding him, Carr won’t need to always be the focal point of the offense and ease into points more naturally and efficiently. To that end, Carr has proven capable of orchestrating an offense and putting others in position to score after ranking 50th in assists per contest last season.
With Carr joining a roster that will feature six other Longhorns who averaged double figures in the scoring column — four of which will likely join Carr in the starting lineup — his playmaking ability should be on display more noticeably than previous seasons, and his scoring prowess will only create more opportunities for those around him.
With Carr now in the fold, he joins point guard Devin Askew (Kentucky), forwards Christian Bishop (Creighton), Timmy Allen (Utah), and Dylan Disu (Vanderbilt), as well as center Tre Mitchell (UMass) as yet another highly-touted transfer to sign with Texas since Beard took over the program in early April, capping a sensational recruiting effort by the Texas staff.
With Texas replacing an established floor general in Matt Coleman, Carr can readily help fill that void as a one-year replacement, which affords Askew, a former top-10 prospect in the 2021 class before reclassifying to 2020 and going to Kentucky, an additional year to develop in a reserve role.
As a whole, on paper, Carr completes a Texas roster that may very well enter the 2021-22 campaign as a top-five team with significant aspirations not only in the Big 12, but nationally.