His name may not have been called as one of the 60 picks for the 2008 NBA Draft, but that doesn't mean that the dream to play professional basketball has ended for Utah State's Jaycee Carroll.
"I am disappointed for sure, but nonetheless we are on to the next plan, and that is to get on a good summer-league team," said Carroll. "We have heard from quite a few teams that are interested. Now, I just have to trust in the scouts and general managers that are saying what they like and what they need. I have to trust my agent and just find the best fit where I can go there and showcase my talents and abilities."
The fact that the draft is based on potential and not accomplishments will never be more clear than when evaluating Carroll's omission. His statistics speak for themselves. He led the nation in 3-point shooting at .498 percent (114 of 229), and he was fourth all-time in 3-point percentage (.465). He left school as the Aggies' all-time leading scorer with 2,522 points.
Carroll shot an astonishing 92 percent from the free-throw line last season while averaging 22.4 points and garnering the WAC Player of the Year award. He was a two-time All-WAC first-team selection, and an honorable mention All-American in each of his last two seasons. But even with those gaudy numbers and accolades, the professional scouts didn't see exactly what they were looking for.
"I don't know what else I could have possibly done," Carroll said. "I was the best 3-point shooter in the country. I worked out for 11 teams, and I thought those went very well. I tested out with a 40-inch vertical at a couple of places, and my lane drills were great. I don't think I could have done anything else to gain anymore exposure."
The scouts for NBA.com had Carroll's skills listed as the type of qualities a coach would love: Pure shooter with unlimited range. Can also create off the dribble and finish with underrated athleticism. Very competitive. Solid rebounder from the backcourt.
The 6-foot-2, 25-year-old guard served a two-year LDS mission to Chile after high school. He had only one Division I offer to play upon returning, and that turned out just fine for both Carroll and Utah State. So going undrafted and having an uphill battle is not something that is going to scare Carroll."I just need one contract, one team to take me, and I'll take care of the rest," he said. "I am ready to go out and work hard and show an NBA team what I am all about. I am ready to go out and contribute and take care of the basketball part of it."
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