Rutgers Basketball '11, the Vets: Austin Carroll

Austin Carroll came into his freshman year billed as a shooter.  He was supposed to have a great long range shot and be a smart player, since he is a coach's son.  Early in the season, Carroll had some trouble finding his shot and appearing nervous.  But as the season moved into the Big East portion, he was starting to become a defender.  Unfortunately, a knee injury hampered part of his season and Carroll missed a lot of time.

This season it's expected that Carroll will fill an important role.  But can he?

Find out after the jump...

As far as I know, Carroll is completely healed from his knee injury.  That's important because he's one of the five returning members of the Scarlet Knights.  And, though he may be traveling under the radar, he's going to be very important.  

Just before he got hurt, Carroll was starting to get it.  He was anticipating where the player he was defending was going to be and getting there first.  He was making the extra move and appeared to be gaining some footspeed.  He was making the player he was on work.  And that becomes important as the game wears on.  The knee injury last year definitely slowed him some.  If that's healed, however, Carroll is going to be able to defend again.

On offense, expect to see a smart player.  He's not always going to shoot the ball when it's in his hands, but he doesn't need to.  Carroll loves to make the extra pass and find the open man.  It's something Rutgers hasn't seen in a long time.  Even in the JSBL, Carroll didn't hog the ball.  He was calm and patient and let the game come to him.  If he's able to do that, he's going to be able to slow the game down for others.  The offense will look very good when he's on the floor.  And when he's open, look for him to hit some important 3s. 

Carroll is going to be one player I'm keeping an eye on this year.  He never takes plays off, works hard, and hustles.  Key factors for any ball player.

Reports say Carroll has improved his shot and Rice loves his work ethic.  If that keeps up, Carroll could find himself in a starting role.  A tough, gritty player, Carroll has a great chance to put his stamp on the Scarlet Knight this season.

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