Mark Pope wants Andrew Carr to play a "Lauri Markkanen type role"

Zack Geogheganby:Zack Geoghegan05/13/24


Over the last two seasons, Lauri Markkanen has gone from being a solid starting piece to a bonafide NBA All-Star with the Utah Jazz. New Kentucky head coach Mark Pope is hoping to see similar production at the college level from one of his transfer portal additions.

According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, he was told that Pope is hoping for a “Lauri Markkanen type role” with the Wildcats from Wake Forest transfer Andrew Carr for the upcoming 2024-25 season. Carr began his career at Delaware before spending the last two seasons at Wake Forest. He was considered a Top 75 portal prospect this offseason by On3 before transferring to UK as a graduate student.

During the 2023-24 campaign, Carr, a 6-foot-9 stretch forward, averaged 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting 52.6 percent from the floor and 37.1 percent from deep on 2.8 attempts.

The Carr-Markannen comparison makes sense in the way that they’re both big men who can stretch the floor. Although Markkanen, 26, clocks in at 7-foot, 240 pounds — significantly bigger than Carr, who is listed at 6-foot-9, 210 pounds — there are playstyle similarities between the two. They can both make plays on their own when asked and can also score efficiently inside the arc.

Regardless, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what Pope is expecting out of Carr — he wants a big guy who can shoot 3s and get others involved. Someone who can play multiple frontcourt positions, set good screens, and fit into a fast-paced offense (the Jazz ranked 10th in pace this past season). Carr actually might be the better rim defender of the two, as well — Markkanen clears in just about every other category though.

We have no idea how many Jazz games Pope has actually watched Markkanen play in, but the Utah-BYU connection certainly makes this comparison an easy one for him. Kentucky fans would be perfectly fine if Carr is even half as good in his role with the Wildcats as Markkanen has been with the Jazz over the last couple of seasons.

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