Marcus Carr showed the type of potential as a freshman last season that had Pittsburgh expecting big things in his future with the program.
Carr transferred to Minnesota following Pitt coach Kevin Stallings’ firing last spring, so the same expectations for the 6-foot-1 guard’s impact followed him to the Gophers.
The question is when will Carr makes his debut on the court in maroon and gold?
The standard NCAA rule is for non-graduate transfers to sit out one year at their new school, but Gophers coach Richard Pitino confirmed recently the U is seeking a waiver for Carr to play immediately. Pitino has no idea what the timetable would be for the NCAA to make a determination on Carr’s waiver request once it has been filed.
“We’re going to send in a waiver and take it from there,” Pitino said in July. “That’s kind of all we really know just yet. You never know with all of that’s stuff.”
Gophers compliance director Jeremiah Carter could only comment generally on the waiver process for players stating “The length of the process varies depending on the circumstances of the case and can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for a final ruling.”
Carter also stated: “A member institution is responsible for explaining within the waiver why they believe that the particular rule should not be applied based on some type of extraordinary or extenuating circumstances. The institution is also responsible for presenting objective documentation to back up whatever claim that they are making. The appropriate NCAA waiver team will review the waiver and also previous case precedent and guidelines from NCAA committees (which are made up of individuals from the NCAA membership) to determine whether or not the information presented warrants granting the waiver of NCAA rules.”
Carr, a Toronto native, averaged 10 points and a team-high four assists and started 27 games for the Panthers in 2017-18. He was the first Pittsburgh freshman to average double figures in scoring since DeJuan Blair in 2007-08.
The Gophers could sure use Carr’s presence in the backcourt to help sophomore Isaiah Washington at point guard this season.
But CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish pretty much said it best in a summer tweet on Louisville transfer Lance Thomas seeking a similar waiver to play right away at Memphis this year: “Worth a shot, I guess. Nothing to lose. But the NCAA doesn’t really make a habit of granting transfer waivers simply because a player’s coach was fired.”
Fair or not, Parrish is right about the process. It might be tough for Carr to get to play for the Gophers in 2018-19, but he already accepted that as a strong possibility when he signed with Minnesota in May.
“If I do have to sit out I’m going to try and attack the year sitting out and try to get better,” Carr said earlier. “Just work the whole year, so that the following season I can come in and really be impactful.”
From reports on summer practice, it sounds like Carr has made an immediate impression as far as having a great attitude, strong work ethic and gets along well with his teammates. He’s not known as a three-point shooter, but he’s held his own in shooting contests with Michael Hurt, Gabe Kalscheur and Washington after practices.
What is the best way to describe Carr’s game?
“I would just say I’m a playmaker,” Carr said. “I like to make plays for my team and my teammates whenever possible. I bring toughness to the game. I definitely learned a lot from my freshman year. It was definitely a tough year. I didn’t win a lot. But I had a lot of learning experiences. I’m just ready to take those experiences to help my moving forward at Minnesota.”