Jalen Carey, the 2018 guard, is often on top 100 lists and has always been well-regarded by recruiting analysts. However, after an April live period that saw him blowing up the Nike EYBL circuit, his recruitment has exploded to the tune of eight new high-major offers, including one from the University of Miami.
State of the U had the chance to talk with Jalen from his home in Harlem, NY last week, and he was kind enough to share his thoughts about his recruitment. A veteran of New Jersey’s high school prep leagues, playing at Immaculate Conception in Montclair, the 6-foot-3 Carey is known as an attacking guard who can score and facilitate for teammates with ease, as exemplified by a recent 30-point, 8-assist performance for his AAU team Playaz Club in EYBL play.
Carey told us that he’d like to “decide before senior year [high school season] and get it out of the way”, but that he plans to take his time and not make a mistake in selecting a school. He has already visited UConn unofficially, and plans to take more unofficial visits before the next July period, including potentially to Miami.
Though he’s yet to see campus, Carey is already looking forward to a visit. “I really love the warm weather”, he told us. Distance won’t be a factor, as long as his parents can “get to some of [his] games each season”. On the court, Carey likes how Miami uses their guards in a pick and roll, pro-style offense. The Miami staff has emphasized that that Coach Jim Larrañaga has not only put guards like Shane Larkin and Sheldon Mac (formerly McClellan) in the NBA, but that Miami has two potential first-round guards in Bruce Brown and incoming freshman Lonnie Walker.
Along with graduating senior Ja’Quan Newton, the potential loss of two other guards could create an opportunity for early playing time. “Coach L tells me how they could lose two players to the NBA next year,” Carey said, “and that I can come in and play right away.” Carey explained that playing time will be one of his biggest considerations in looking at schools, and it is definitely a plus in the column for Miami.
Asked who he tries to models his game after, he quickly mentions Russell Westbrook and Lebron James. When not playing basketball, which he is truly passionate about, he told us that he likes to go to the movies, something he has in common with self-professed movie buff Larrañaga. Jalen told us he’s looking for a school where he can be part of a “real brotherhood”, and one that prepares him at the next level, on and off the court.
Miami certainly checks a lot of boxes for Jalen Carey.
Editor’s note: A special thanks to SOTU’s CanesHoops consigliere, Josh Frank (@JoshDaCane) for his input and thoughts with this interview and story.