Special to ZAGSBLOG
NEWARK — It seems only fitting that Aquille Carr — arguably one of the country’s most exciting players — would make his debut at a new school with a new team only a few miles away from where he is verbally committed to play college ball at Seton Hall.
Carr and his new teammates from Princeton Day Academy in Lanham, Md., made the trip to Newark to scrimmage St. Benedict’s Prep and were promptly whupped, 88-57, despite a game-best 28 points from the player they call “The Crimestopper.”
One day after six St. Benedict’s seniors signed National Letters of Intent, Pittsburgh bound forward Mike Young led the Gray Bees with 22 points, sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe scored 20 and Syracuse-bound point guard Tyler Ennis tallied 16.
After the game, Carr spoke about his decision to attend Princeton Day for his academic development. He began his high school career at Baltimore Patterson, briefly switched to Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick last spring, only to return to Patterson.
He was arrested in August for domestic assault charges involving his longtime girlfriend and mother of his daughter. Yet the Baltimore Sun reported in September that the charges will be dropped if he completes a 22-week program with the House of Ruth Gateway Project.
“Princeton Day was the right fit for me classroom-wise, smaller classrooms so it’s much easier for me to get a lot of one-on-one work and help from the teachers,” Carr said.
Carr, who was draped in a Seton Hall sweatshirt after the game, made it clear that he is focusing on his academics first, which is the main reason chose to wait until the spring to sign his National Letter of Intent.
“I could’ve signed yesterday [Wednesday],” Carr said. “I’m just focusing on my grades right now”
As for the game, Carr was held in check throughout the first quarter as Ennis and Briscoe controlled the pace of the game, exciting the crowd with dunks in transition.
Early on, it was obvious that both Carr and his teammates were not used to each other but it did not take long for Carr to get going. During the second quarter, Carr rattled off 11 straight points by weaving in and out of St. Benedict’s zone defense, getting in the lane and using his uncanny ability to finish in traffic over much bigger defenders.
It seemed as if all 28 of Carr’s points came off contested 3’s and double-clutched acrobatic layups. St. Benedict’s made him work for everything
“The thing that impresses me about Aquille is his ability to go and get to the rim whenver he wants,” St. Ben’s coach Mark Taylor said. “He stays very calm with the ball in traffic.
“He’ll be able to get to the rim in the Big East.”
There were plenty of Seton Hall fans in attendance posing for pictures with Carr, which is hopefully enough to make Coach Kevin Willard and the Seton Hall fans breathe easier. At this point, Carr is the Pirates’ only commit for 2013. They have just one scholarship to give.
“Coach Willard told me to come in, be a point guard, run the team and be the leader,” Carr said.
ISAIAH BRICOE RECRUITING UPDATE
One of the top point guards in the class of 2015, Isaiah Briscoe, says he’s wide open in his recruitment.
He’s hearing from Villanova, Arizona, UConn, Baylor, Pitt and Syracuse, among others.
Briscoe recently got a chance to visit Arizona unofficially for the Red/Blue Game.
“Arizona is great,” he said. “I love the campus, I love the coaches, teammates, everybody.”
Karl Towns, Briscoe’s friend and another member of the class of 2015, will announce Dec. 4 and may reclassify to 2014, but Briscoe has no plans on committing early.
“I’m just going to take my time,” he said.