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Sun Devils playing faster with Jahii Carson

Arizona State has upped its tempo in 2012-13, thanks to the unique abilities of its freshman guard.

Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

The Arizona State Sun Devils are averaging a robust 79.2 points per game despite not being known for their fast-paced offense due in large to their newest playmaker.

That would be freshman sensation Jahii Carson, who leads the team in scoring with 21 points per game and is averaging nearly three rebounds and five assists. That type of production from Carson has opened up the offense for ASU and allowed them to play at a quicker pace than they've been accustomed to in years' past.

"We talked about wanting to play this way last year and then with some guys not being with us that we expected we had to adjust midstream," said Sun Devils head coach Herb Sendek. "But right now it's a style that fits our team very well. It's fun and I think it's really what our team needs right now."

Fun is a great word for it, and ASU is having a lot of it at 4-1 on the season. Naturally, comparisons to the last Sun Devil hoops star to come out of Tempe, James Harden, have begun to surface. But Sendek was quick to dismiss the comparisons, saying the two players are more different than alike due to differences in position. Harden was a two-guard while Carson runs the point position.

He didn't shy away from pointing out some similarities, however.

"They certainly have some of the same team-centered characteristics, they certainly have self-confidence," he said.