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Jahii Carson will return to Arizona State

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

Jahii Carson was one of the best freshmen in the nation last season. Big boost. (USATSI)

Arizona State just got the best news possible. Jahii Carson, one of the best freshmen in the nation this past season, has decided to put off NBA pursuits for at least a year and will return to Tempe for a sophomore campaign.

"I really didn't know," Carson told the AP. "I just took some time after the season to try to get some space, just to take some time, get some quiet, to get some shots up and just be a normal kid for once. I just wanted some time to try to get away with myself, but as the moment started coming up I started talking to my parents and coaching staff about it and I came to a decision."

Carson did have some NBA leanings, going through the process and filing initial paperwork, but he never signed with an agent. And without him, Arizona State would hardly be considered a sure thing to be in the mix for next year's NCAA tournament. This is big for Herb Sendek's job chances, too.

Carson averaged 18.5 points and 5.1 assists in 2012-13, his 177 dimes the most ever by an ASU freshman. He also scored more points, field goals and played more minutes than any first-year player in program history.

Carson was co-Freshman of the Year in the Pac-12, sharing the honor with NBA-bound UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad.

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