Texas Longhorn's point guard Marcus Carr said it himself during his introductory press conference on Tuesday; "I'm a basketball junkie."
What else can we expect from a player who was consistently ranked as the No. 1 overall available transfer at the end of last season? ESPN, CBSSports.com, and WatchStadium.com all had Carr ranked at the top, while most credible sites had him in at least the top five.
It was a rare opportunity for Texas and head coach Chris Beard to acquire this type of talent, but it came at the perfect time. With Carr set to declare for the NBA draft again next offseason, the goal for his senior season couldn't be more clear.
"(Beard) knows what I have to do to get to the next level, but not only that, we're singly aligned on this one goal that we're trying to win a championship," Carr said.
Beard was honest with Carr during the recruitment process and a solid relationship between the two was established early on. The new head coach saw a maturity in Carr that set him apart from other talented transfers.
“There’s a real consistency and a real trust factor," Beard said. "The very first conversation I had with Marcus…it just started with a lot of respect."
It's one thing to have a talented and experienced team, but it's another to have a group that's completely bought in. The championship mindset shared by Beard and the team drove Carr to commit to Austin for one final ride in his senior season.
"When it was coming down to the wire, just us coming together being an older group and just emphasizing that this was one goal, that was huge for me," Carr said.
As a native of Toronto, coming down to the heat of south Texas might seem like a head-scratcher, but Carr has always had a quiet desire to be a Longhorn. Once Beard was hired this past spring, the decision became much easier.
"(Beard) being at Texas, it's Texas," Carr said with emphasis. "Kind of a no-brainer. Coming here, especially being a kid from Toronto and the past guys and point guards that have been here...it definitely is an honor to be playing here."
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Carr admitted he's kept a close eye on the Canadian talent to sport the burnt orange since he was a young kid with hoop aspirations. Former Texas point guard Cory Joseph (2010-2011) is a native of Toronto and one of Carr's earliest connections to Longhorn's basketball.
"Just grew up watching Cory even before he came to Texas when he got here, and of course beyond," Carr said. "He played with my older brother, so I got to know him through there."
Carr's older brother, Duane Notice, played professionally with Joseph in Canada while making his mark on college basketball as well. Notice was a crucial piece to a South Carolina Gamecocks team that made it all the way to the Final Four in 2017.
The family ties and Canadian connection are just a few of the reasons why Carr is ready to make it his time at Texas. Advancing farther in the tournament than his brother certainly adds some extra motivation, too.
"He was the reason why I even started playing basketball, and he's just knocked down so many doors for me," Carr said. "I've seen him do some amazing things, and he's been to the Final Four. Now I'm trying to one-up him and raise that trophy."
These aspirations seem futile to a Texas program that is accustomed to early-round exits in the tournament. But with the addition of Beard, Carr, and a whole slew of talented transfers, a Final Four appearance in 2022 is far from being a long shot.
"I'm looking forward to you guys getting to know (Carr) more," Beard said. "Cause he's special."
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