In the months leading up to the 2020-’21 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at Marcus Carr of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who landed at No. 15 in our preseason player rankings. The Gophers enter this season trying to improve on last year’s underwhelming finish. Carr was one of the team’s top contributors last season and should be once again.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - No. 15 Marcus Carr:
- Eligibility: Redshirt Junior
- Career Totals: 63 games, 2,058 minutes, 798 points, 255 rebounds, 332 assists
- 2019-’20 Averages: 32.7 min, 12.7 pts, 4.0 rebs, 5.3 asts, 0.1 blks, 0.7 stls
- Positional Role: Point Guard
Minnesota had a bizarre 2019-’20 season. The Gophers went 15-16 overall, but finished 27th nationally on KenPom. The team was led by Carr and Daniel Oturu and always seemed better than its overall record. However, things didn’t quite come together against a brutal schedule. Fans are hoping that changes this time around.
Carr was Minnesota’s primary offensive initiator last season. While Oturu was Minnesota’s best player, it was Carr who got most things going. Carr had similar usage numbers to Oturu, played far more minutes (93.7 percent of the team’s minutes), and also ranked fourth in the conference in assist rate. If the Gophers were doing some offensively, it was likely came from something Carr started.
Along with initiating so much offensively, Carr was one of the Big Ten’s best players at getting in the lane and converting from there. He drew a ton of fouls from opponents and converted consistently from the free throw line. Carr also really came on as a three-point shooter during conference play, hitting 38.2 percent from deep against Big Ten opponents.
-Areas for Improvement
Efficiency is a tricky thing in college basketball. Focus too much on taking quality shots and you reduce your offensive output. But jack up too many bad shots without focusing on shot quality and you can submarine your team’s offensive play.
I say the above here because Carr could focus on improving his efficiency. He did well during conference play (110.3 offensive rating), but his non-conference perform left fans wanting. Taking a step forward here could mean big things for Minnesota.
However, it’s a delicate situation. Carr was volume scorer last year and produced a ton for the Gophers last season. So, he can’t just be more selective with his shots. A lot will depend on how Minnesota’s role players produce around him. If they’re more consistent, Carr’s efficiency numbers should rise as a natural result.
Expect Carr to be pretty similar to how he was last season. He’s going to play a ton, initiate things offensively, and will score in a variety of ways. Carr should have a serious shot at All-Big Ten first team status if things go well.
However, hitting his ceiling will depend significantly on the players around Carr. He needs quality shooters for his passing skills to be productive and to keep the lane open. It will be interesting to see how things go.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #27-28 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Adam Miller (Illinois)
- #25 - Miller Kopp (Northwestern)
- #22 - Ron Harper (Rutgers)
- #22 - Eric Hunter (Purdue)
- #22 - CJ Fredrick (Iowa)
- #21 - Rob Phinisee (Indiana)
- #20 - Khristian Lander (Indiana)
- #19 - Seth Towns (Ohio State)
- #17 - Nate Reuvers (Wisconsin)
- #17 - Mark “Rocket” Watts (Michigan State)
- #16 - Micah Potter (Wisconsin)
- #15 - Marcus Carr (Minnesota)
- #14 - To be continued . . .