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Utah Jazz welcomes 'young hustle player' DeMarre Carroll to the team

Published: Thursday, Feb. 9 2012 11:18 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz had a crowded court for practice Thursday.

Not only did Jamaal Tinsley return from dealing with a family matter in New York, but the 14-deep Jazz also welcomed newly acquired DeMarre Carroll into the fold.

Carroll, a third-year small forward from Missouri, was signed for the rest of the season after being waived by the Denver Nuggets earlier this week.

Carroll might not be a shooter like many outsiders thought the Jazz might pick up, but Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin believes he'll help Utah with his skill set and mindset.

"He's a good, young hustle player that found his way into this league," Corbin said. "He had a great college career ... really works hard, a hustle guy that will bust his butt every minute that he's on the floor."

Carroll, who'll wear No. 3, believed his offseason improvement and his willingness to do dirty work helped him find a fourth NBA home after being drafted by Memphis, then playing short stints with Houston and Denver.

"It's an amazing feeling, a great opportunity, basically to be back playing basketball," he said. "The situation in Denver didn't work out like I expected, but I'm glad to be here in Utah where incredible fans are and you've got a good coaching staff."

Carroll believes he plays the Jazz way.

His approach: "Just being a blue-collar guy, doing whatever it takes, wherever Coach Corbin throw me in at, I just got to go out there and do what I do, and that's be scrappy, diving in a crowd, let my hair throw everywhere."

Carroll, by the way, sports some serious dredlocks, so that's saying something.

Corbin said Carroll has been on general manager Kevin O'Connor's radar for some time, and the 6-foot-8 small forward has a Jazz connection. Tinsley played with him two years ago in Memphis.

"I call him my 'Big Vet,'" Carroll said. "When I was in Memphis after playing a lot in my rookie year and not playing too much my second year, he told me, 'Control what you can control,' and all I can control is getting better."

Tinsley, who arrives early and stays late to practice, was impressed "how a young guy could put that much time in the gym" and that he plays hard.

BACK AT IT: Tinsley was bummed to not visit Indiana after spending the first six-and-a-half years of his career there, but the New Yorker had a family matter to deal with back home and missed Utah's game Tuesday against the Pacers.

"It's good," Tinsley said of his situation. "Everything is back right and I'm just happy to be back."

Tinsley thanked the coaching staff and front office for keeping him around for the remainder of the season. His contract becomes guaranteed today because he wasn't waived earlier this week.

RISING STAR: The Jazz didn't get an All-Star, but Corbin is excited Gordon Hayward was voted to play in the annual rookie-sophomore game.

"I think it's a tremendous reward for him. He's continuing to grow his game," Corbin said. "It will be a great opportunity for him to get with some of the best guys in his class, to continue to grow and see another level of play. I'm happy for him to be a part of it."

Email: jody@desnews.com

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