LAS VEGAS - As the final seconds wore down Thursday at Rancho High School, Jahii Carson drove inside confidently and rolled in a game-winning layup.
Nobody could stop him.
"I looked and saw (my opponent) was not as quick as me," Carson said. "So I just took it to the bucket."
Carson's heroics were for the Arizona-based Magic traveling team, in a packed but small gym in the Adidas Super 64 tournament. But the move was the kind of thing Wildcat fans around Point Guard U have been used to seeing over the years.
It also explains why Carson has become, according to a Phoenix-based scout, the No. 1 recruiting priority in 2011 for Arizona coach Sean Miller.
But even though Carson is a Mesa High product now living in Phoenix, and even though he is back on the market after decommitting from Oregon State in April, there's no telling if he will become the latest to line up for Arizona's historically marquee position.
Not if ASU, Washington or even North Carolina have anything to say about it. The Tar Heels have reached out to the 5-foot-11-inch, 160-pound guard.
"North Carolina is one of the biggest programs around so of course I'm going to be happy about that one," Carson said.
But Carson also said UA is "always going to be in the picture" because of its proximity to his home and its point-guard tradition.
"I always liked watching Jerryd Bayless, who was a hometown guy," he said. "I always watched him and wanted to be like him. So Arizona has always been a school I'm looking at."
Carson says he also likes Miller, who contacted Carson shortly after becoming the UA coach in April 2009, just before Carson committed to Oregon State.
"Coach Miller is just excellent with me and my family," Carson said. "He knows how to respond to questions, and he can also relate to me because he was a point guard himself."
Miller's interest in Carson was obvious during Thursday's game, with the coach staring intently at the point guard. Miller stayed for nearly the entire game with brother and associate head coach Archie Miller, despite numerous other recruits worth watching in other afternoon games.
That was no surprise to Chad Groth, who scouts and organizes tournaments in the Phoenix area.
"Sean has always been pretty serious about Jahii," Groth said. "He's always had his eye on him. Jahii's only an hour away, and he's one of the top players in the country."
Miller has benefited from the proximity already, hosting Carson for an unofficial visit to Tucson in June.
Although few current players were around then, Carson said he spent time with the UA staff and incoming freshman Daniel Bejarano, a longtime basketball acquaintance from Phoenix North High School.
"We grew up playing against each other all the time," Carson said. "He's trying to tell me to play with him in college."
But being nearby also means the speedy Cason has caught the attention of the ASU Sun Devils.
"Coach (Herb) Sendek is a great guy," Carson said. "He said if I want to play fast, he's going to put the ball in my hands, and we're going to play fast. (The system) matters but the way he's telling me …
"I have no problem becoming a Sun Devil."
Or a Tar Heel. Or a Husky. Or even a Beaver - Carson says he's still considering Oregon State, his original school.
And Carson said his list of colleges may continue to grow. He plans to start narrowing the schools in August, with official visits to more-distant schools likely in the fall.
"Everything's open right now," Carson said. "I've got to clear my head a little."
On StarNet: Catch up on all the recent Arizona Wildcats news on reporter Bruce Pascoe's blog at go.azstarnet.com/pascoe
• What: Nevada recruiting bonanza
• Where: Las Vegas
• When: This weekend
• Fab 48 Invitational: running through Sunday
• Adidas Super 64: running through Monday