Marcus Carr Should Drop Out of the NBA Draft and Become Gopher Basketball’s Next Star

Photo: Kelly Hagenson - Gopher Sports

In March, two Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball players declared for the NBA draft: Daniel Oturu and Marcus Carr. While it looks like Oturu will be taken in the first round, it is hard to know if Carr will be drafted at all. He still has two years of eligibility left and it sure seems as though returning to school, is his best option.

Current Draft Stock

On Darren Wolfson’s “The Scoop” podcast in mid-May, Carr said he is projected to go late-second-round or completely undrafted. This is feedback he received from the NCAA Draft Advisory Committee.

While Minnesota natives Tre Jones and Tyrell Terry project as first-round picks, there are plenty of college standouts that sit right around that cut line. This includes All-American, Myles Powell, and All-Big Ten point guard, Ayo Dosunmu.

None of this seems like it bodes well for Carr. I don’t see Carr being drafted ahead of Powell or Dosunmu. Carr was only named to the All-Big Ten Third Team, last season. Obviously, awards don’t determine if or when you get drafted, but remember, Jordan Murphy was named to the 2018-19 All Big Ten First Team and never got drafted

Improving Future Draft Stock


When looking at Carr’s stats from last season, you can see how solid he was. Compare those numbers to Cassius Winston (a projected second-round pick), however, and suddenly there’s much left to be desired. Both players have similar play styles, but Winston outperforms Carr in nearly every category:

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Winston’s usage rate is a bit higher than Carr’s so that’s part of the gap in numbers, but it doesn’t create a gap that big. One thing is for sure, if Carr wants to get drafted next year, he will need to shoot the ball at a much higher volume and clip. 

That will be much easier to do at the U next year, with Oturu’s 28.8% usage rate out the door. Carr will be the first option on a team that should be set up to compete, which leads me into my next point.

Number One Option

Richard Pitino is bringing in at least five newcomers (pending Both Gach’s decision). This includes recruits Jamal Mashburn, Martice Mitchell, and David Mutaf and transfers Liam Robbins (pending waiver) and Brandon Johnson. Additionally, the only seniors on the roster will be center Eric Curry (hopefully injury free by then) and walk-on Hunter Conroy.      

What does this mean for Carr? He has a chance to prove himself as a legitimate number one Big Ten option, on a team chock-full of young potential underneath him. Pitino will hand Marcus the keys to his own Carr (pun intended) and let him drive the Gophers into the NCAA Tournament promised land…

When Oturu hurt his shoulder and had to exit a game against Michigan last season, Carr put his foot on the gas and drove his team to victory, scoring 16 points and dishing out 6 assists in the second half alone. 

If that was the trailer for this season’s movie, then you better grab your popcorn and enjoy the show. It should be electric. Carr showed — in that game, and many others — that he has the ability to take over and lead his team to victory. Remember the Ohio State game? 

In that home game against the #3 team in the country, Carr scored a phenomenal 35 points in 38 minutes (and 7 assists). Then, the Gophers traveled to Ohio State later in the year, and Carr took over again. Well, all he did was score 21 points and knock down the game-winning three.

My Prediction

I think Marcus will decide to stay in Minnesota for at least one more year of college ball. By coming back, he will be able to improve his game and show what he can do without Oturu. Like Carr said in the aforementioned interview with Wolfson: “Just going through this process and getting feedback… was definitely something I wanted to do.”

Carson Ruen | Minnesota Sports Fan

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