There hasn’t been much cause for optimism among Pitt basketball fans lately, as the outlook for the upcoming season seems relatively grim. But according to ESPN’s Jay Bilas, there’s at least one thing for the Pitt faithful to be excited about when the season gets underway Friday night.
The ESPN analyst released his annual opus on Thursday morning, and Panthers guard Marcus Carr was included on his preseason list of the 32 best freshmen in college basketball. Carr managed to squeeze in alongside several consensus five-star recruits, including UCLA’s Kris Wilkes and Kentucky’s P.J. Washington.
Almost all the freshmen who made Bilas’ list were previously included in the ESPN 100 for 2017. However, Carr was one of three non-ESPN 100 players to make the cut, along with Villanova’s Omari Spellman and Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo.
Carr earned a four-star rating from Rivals during his recruitment, but he was given three stars by ESPN and 247Sports. Given Bilas’ assessment, it looks like Rivals may have had the more accurate read on the 6’1” recruit out of Montverde Academy in Florida.
The freshman guard had a promising debut in Pitt’s 71-59 exhibition win over Slippery Rock last Saturday, contributing 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. However, according to Craig Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Carr suffered an ankle injury during the game and hasn’t practiced since.
With that said, Carr’s status for the season opener at Navy is currently uncertain, but Jerry DiPaola of TribLive.com reported head coach Kevin Stallings gave him "a reasonable chance to play Friday."