On Wednesday, the Minnesota Golden Gophers got some tough news as ESPN reported star guard Marcus Carr would be withdrawing his name from the 2021 NBA Draft and transferring away from the program. It isn’t surprising given the program’s coaching transition this offseason, but something that’s certainly noteworthy.
Marcus Carr is expected to withdraw from the 2021 NBA Draft and return to college next season, per his mentor Vidal Massiah.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 30, 2021
Carr is also in the transfer portal and will be one of the highest sought after transfers if he decides to leave Minnesota.
While Minnesota struggled through Big Ten play last year, Carr was one of the few bright spots, averaging an impressive 19.4 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game. He was one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball last season, highlighted by numerous 20+ point scoring performances, including 41 points against Nebraska in February and 30 points against Iowa in a Christmas night win over Iowa.
Because of his pedigree, Carr will immediately become one of the nation’s top available transfers. Expect him to get attention from a variety of blue blood programs, including a handful in the Big Ten. The list will certainly change in the weeks ahead, but it seems reasonable to think Carr will make a decision sooner rather than later.
For Minnesota, Carr’s departure will leave quite a whole in the team’s backcourt. He dominated the team’s offensive possessions last season, finishing ninth in the league in percentage of possessions used while on the floor. Obviously, that’s going to put a lot of pressure on other backcourt players to make an impact. The team made a handful of JUCO pickups this offseason from players like Abdoulaye Thiam and Sean Sutherlin. Expect them to try and pick up some of Carr’s lost contributions.
Either way, Minnesota’s probably looking at an uphill battle without Carr on the roster.