Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 | 9:54 a.m.
It's a big week for high school basketball in Las Vegas with several marquee games and compelling storylines. Listen as sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer sort through all of them.
Whenever college basketball coaches visited Canyon Springs High in North Las Vegas to recruit guard Shaquile Carr, initial questions typically didn’t start with how many points or assists he averaged per game.
Rather, it’s another average they were concerned with — his grade-point average.
Carr, who had his junior season end prematurely last year because he was ruled academically ineligible, verbally committed today with UTEP basketball. If Carr doesn’t meet NCAA qualifying criteria, he can still enroll at UTEP under Proposition 48.
UTEP’s Conference USA is one of the few leagues still using Prop 48, where nonqualifiers can become eligible if they earn 12 credits in each semester during their freshman year. It would count as an athlete’s redshirt season and they’d have to pay their own way but would be eligible after one year.
“It’s a good thing for him,” Canyon Springs coach Freddie Banks said.
The 6-foot-1 Carr is averaging 14.3 points, 3 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game this season for Canyon Springs, which is arguably the best public-school team in Las Vegas. More important, he recorded a 3.0 grade-point average in the first quarter, Banks said. The second quarter, or first semester, concluded last week.
“Since last year, he has really turned it around,” Banks said. “He’s a smart kid. He’s always had it in him.”
Carr, a three-star recruiting prospect by Rivals.com, is a three-year starter at Canyon Springs. ESPN.com ranks him as Nevada’s No.1 recruit for the class of 2014 and the nation’s No. 78 overall point guard prospect. He only other scholarship offer was from Loyola Marymount.
“If he qualifies, he’ll go in there right away and compete to start,” Banks said.
He’s the third Canyon Springs players to commit this month. Brothers Gerad and Jordan Davis are heading to Eastern Washington.