Carr worried more about next season


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Posted Online: March 26, 2013, 6:58 pm
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By Daniel Makarewicz, danmak@qconline.com
Ethan Happ entered the AAU season a year ago as a "no-name" player looking for an opportunity. What followed was a verbal commitment to Wisconsin that capped a whirlwind recruiting process.

Can the same thing happen to Rock Island junior guard C.J. Carr?

From Happ's viewpoint, it will.

"There are times I'm amazed at what he can do," said Happ, a Rockridge junior forward and Carr's teammate with the Quad City Elite. "He's a great player. I know he's going to get looks from big schools."

Time will tell if Carr gets that coveted offer, but the pressure he's placing on his shoulders has nothing to do with the next level. What drives him the most is improving on a season that ended with Carr being named Associated Press Class 4A All-State honorable mention.

"It's going to be a big offseason," Carr said on Sunday during the Quad City Elite media day at Black Hawk College. "But it's also about getting better. If I play my hardest, all of that will come. All I have to do is play hard and play my game."

As of today, Carr's only offer is the one he received from Division II Truman State last summer. Some Horizon League and Missouri Valley Conference programs plus a few other Division II schools have shown interest in the 5-foot-7 point guard, but no more offers have been extended.

Still uncommitted, the focus rests solely on his senior season. Nothing will shake Carr from his No. 1 priority this offseason.

"Getting better," Carr said. "That's about it."

Taking a seasoned approach into the AAU season should have its benefits. Carr spoke often about being more mature this year with Rocky, allowing him to average a team-best 12.5 points and 4.3 assists. With Carr setting the tone, the Rocks won a fourth consecutive Western Big 6 Conference title and reached the Class 4A sectional championship game.

Among improvements noticeable this season were a more consistent shot, a tougher defender and more efficient passer as evidence.

All of those areas need further improvement in Carr's mind. That, not the college process, is what he thinks about the most.

"I don't want to have any regrets," Carr said. "I'm mentally tougher this year and I can keep playing hard. When I play my hardest, things will take care of themselves."

Experience and a drive put things in perspective.

Admitting he "had a couple lapses" in play and sharpness last summer, Carr focuses on making sure his game remains consistent. Do that, he can shake off the disappointment from a 71-45 loss to Edwardsville in the sectional final.

Do all of that and anything seems possible.That includes his college destination.

"I'm anxious, but I want to be patient and let it take care of itself," Carr said. "Last year, I tried doing too much and wanted to impress scouts. I understand if I play my game and be patient, it will take care of itself."

In his mind, that's the best approach.

"I've got to get better," Carr said. "Coaches will see that."

More importantly, he will develop into a better player. Despite other distractions that could consume him in the next few months, Carr will not budge from his goal of simply improving.

Already a few weeks into this pivotal stretch, there is a swagger this can get done.

"I'm very confident," Carr said. "I'm going to work my tail off and be the best I can."

Potential coaches should take notice of that.


















 




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  Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet.
1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.






(More History)