Sitting between his parents at the Bryce Jordan Center on Monday, Penn State guard Tony Carr announced his decision to leave school early for the NBA draft.
“I thought about this very, very, very long and hard, talked it over with my mom and my dad and my coaches,” Carr said. “We just came to the conclusion that the best thing for me moving forward is to make that move to the NBA, and I definitely have intent on signing with an agent.”
Carr said he dreamed about being selected in the NBA draft — and the Nittany Lions guard decided to chase after that goal this year. His decision marks the end of his Penn State career after leading the Nittany Lions to the NIT championship at Madison Square Garden last week. Carr played two years for the Nittany Lions and developed into a pro prospect this season, averaging 19.6 points and 5.0 assists and earning first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Carr arrived at Penn State as part of the best recruiting class in program history along with Roman Catholic teammates Lamar Stevens and Nazeer Bostick. He led the Nittany Lions in scoring as a freshman and established himself as one of the top players in the country during his sophomore season.
After adding 25 pounds of muscle and improving his shot, Carr helped Penn State capture the NIT title and finish this season with a 26-13 record.
“My game just took the next step this year, so I feel like it’s time for me to take the next step,” Carr said.
Four days after cutting down the nets after the NIT title game, Carr announced his decision to head to the NBA with the support of head coach Patrick Chambers.
“I think it’s just a dream come true and no way, shape or form will we stand in the way, in front of anybody’s dreams. We would never want to do that,” Chambers said. “It’s going to hurt me because we’re going to miss Tony, especially the relationship that we’ve developed over his two years here, but I think it’s going to be a win-win for everybody.”
Chambers said the information he received after the Big Ten tournament about Carr’s pro prospects was “glowing,” adding that Carr could be picked anywhere from 15th to 35th in the draft. With that feedback, Carr said he feels confident about where he’ll be selected in the draft.
Carr said he “definitely” plans to return to Penn State to get his degree, but right now, his only focus is getting to the NBA and making sure he’s prepared for it.
And he’s looking forward to what the Nittany Lions do in the future, too.
“I think I leave this program in a great place. We just won a championship. We just won a great championship at a great, great, great place in Madison Square Garden,” Carr said. “I’m definitely happy where I leave this school. I feel like I left my imprint on it. That’s all I can do. I’m definitely looking forward for the years to come for this team and this program.”