NEW YORK — Seton Hall commit Aquille Carr is not playing up to his ideal level during a tour of the area that included a game in New York Saturday at the Big Apple Basketball Invitational and one slated for Newark on Sunday.
The 5-foot-6 Carr scored 20 points on 5-of-22 shooting –including 1-of-8 from deep — as Princeton (Md.) Day Academy lost to Brooklyn South Shore, 64-63, on a game-winning layup by UConn signee Terrence Samuel.
Carr, who also had five assists, two steals and three turnovers, said he’s been bothered by the flu and an injury to his right hand that required tape.
“I’ve really been just trying to get in and break a sweat because my stomach’s been real bad and my hand been messed up,” the McDonald’s All-American Game nominee told SNY.tv. “Yesterday in the game I messed [my hand] up. And I just came and tried to get it done for my team and we just came up short at the end. One little mental mistake lost us the game.”
Despite a rough night on the court, Carr said he’s adjusting well to his new school and is working toward becoming academically qualified to play next year at Seton Hall.
“The school is great,” he said. “There’s one-on-one all the time. My teachers talk to me, they help me out a lot. I just get there and get my work done and try to get qualified.”
Princeton Day coach Van Whitfield said Carr is focused academically.
“I think he’s like a lot of young men in their senior years have decided that I’m going to bear down, lay the kind of correct foundation,” he said.
Asked if he expected Carr to be fully qualified, Whitfield said, “Yes, sir. Absolutely.”
Seton Hall recently picked up a commitment from Chicago shooting guard Jerron Wilbut, who will join Carr in the Pirates’ 2013 recruiting class.
Together, the duo will join point guard Sterling Gibbs, who becomes eligible after sitting out this season after transferring from Texas. The Pirates will also have guards Aaron Cosby and Tom Maayan back.
Gibbs, Cosby and Maayan can all play the point, but Carr believes he can play that role, too.
“Most likely, I want to be a pro point guard but you know I like to score a lot,” Carr said. “So I’m going to try and get in there and help make my team better so I can get us to the [NCAA] tournament.”
Whitfield said he believes Carr can play the point and make others better even though he’s a scoring-first guard.
“He’s a point guard,” he said. “He can distribute. I’ve seen him have games where he’s had 13, 14 assists.”
Whitfield said Carr is averaging about 28 points and eight assists per game.
As for the future of Seton Hall once the Catholic 7 leave the Big East, Carr said he wouldn’t mind seeing the new league add a Butler and a Gonzaga. (Xavier has also been mentioned.)
“It would be great to add good schools to the Big East,” he said.
“Butler’s a good team, always a good coach. They get out and there and they play hard together. Gonzaga’s a good team, too. That’s a real powerhouse conference if they bring all them in.”
(Photo: Siri Larkins, Big Apple Basketball)