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Carr becomes driving force

Shaquile Carr is capable of running an offense like he has a Ph.D. in point guard play.

Halfway through his prep career, the Canyon Springs star has one major area of study remaining to complete his basketball education.

“He’s got to get the jump shot down,” Las Vegas Prospects coach Anthony Brown said. “If he gets that down, he’s the complete package. Then he becomes unguardable.”

Carr, who will be a junior for the Pioneers next season, drew quite a crowd to watch one of the first games of the AAU season Wednesday.

UNLV coach Dave Rice and assistant Stacey Augmon watched Carr’s game from the baseline, along with San Francisco coach Rex Walters and San Diego State assistant Brian Dutcher.

The crowd saw Carr put up eight points and five assists to help the Prospects 16s roll to an 86-69 victory over Prodigy Elite (Calif.) in the Las Vegas Fab 48 Tip-Off Challenge at Bishop Gorman.

Carr said he has received scholarship offers from UNLV, Oklahoma and Utah. Fresno State, Boise State, Arizona and Gonzaga are among the teams showing interest.

The 6-foot-1-inch point guard rarely gets rattled on the court, and he eyes the recruiting frenzy with a similar maturity.

“I’m really not thinking about it right now, just playing basketball,” Carr said mildly.

With a strong support system, Carr is being molded into a college-bound point guard. One voice in his ear is Canyon Springs coach Freddie Banks, a former UNLV great who shot the Rebels into the 1987 Final Four.

“(Carr) needs to learn how to pull up for a short jumper. Everything else, he has,” Banks said. “I think the reason a lot of college coaches are looking at him is he can get to the basket real well, and he can finish.”

Carr enjoyed a breakout season last year, earning All-Sunrise Region and first-team All-Northeast League honors as the Pioneers (18-10) reached the semifinals of the Sunrise tournament.

Carr wasn’t in awe of the bright playoff lights, scoring 21 points in a region quarterfinal win over Silverado. But a semifinal loss at Foothill has provided plenty of motivation.

“I had fun winning that first game, but the second game we lost,” he said. “I’m a junior. I want to win state junior and senior year.”

One of Carr’s stated role models, current Boise State guard Mikey Thompson, has shown it’s possible. Thompson led Canyon Springs to its first Class 4A state title in 2010-11.

After the Pioneers graduated their entire starting lineup from the state champion team, Carr was poised to become the face of the program.

Colleges have taken notice.

“I get a letter for him mostly every day,” Banks said. “I try to show him and tell him what it takes to get to the next level. His junior year is really going to show that he’s mature.”

Rice has been hot on Carr’s trail, attending his games at a recent event in Milwaukee.

“It’s been fun having (Rice) at all my games, playing well in front of him,” Carr said.

With word of mouth spreading about Carr’s potential, along with a No. 71 overall ranking in the 2014 class from Scout.com, the attention is likely to grow.

But Carr plans to attack recruiting the same way he does a defense: survey the floor and find the best option.

“When the time comes,” he said, “that’s when I’ll choose.”

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