Indeed he doesn't, says Carr, who notches 20 assists to go with 102 points over the four games, though the team uncharacteristically drops a pair, slipping to No. 3 in The Sun's city rankings.

"When I [jump], I don't know what's going to happen," he says. "I see what they're doing and react. I don't like to think too much when I'm playing."

Will this slow patch interfere with Carr's goal for the year, to lead the Clippers to the city and state titles?

He smiles, perhaps in self-belief, perhaps in indignation. "We're just getting to know each other. Check at the end [of the season]," he says.

The right people

Bogues stayed in the NBA as long as he did, he says, in part because he surrounded himself with the right kind of people.

He might have enjoyed a recent Sunday afternoon at Ashlie's house, where Aquille's parents, siblings, cousins and friends have gathered for a family feast every week for years.

The Ravens' game was on — yes, that loss to the Patriots — and the men watched, pacing and hollering at the action, as Tammy cooked three separate meals to suit everyone's tastes.

"What we do, we do as a family," she says with a booming laugh.

Ashlie says if any troublemakers ever want to lure Aquille into bad behavior, they know they have to go through the whole family first, and that's not likely to happen. "We're too close for that," she says. "We look out for each other."

Al Sr. and Tammy plan to move to New Jersey next year to be close to hand when he starts college.

"Where my baby goes, that's where I'm going," Tammy says.

The Carrs are more concerned about his pending fatherhood. The news caused an "uproar" at first, says Ashlie, herself a single mom, but they've overcome any distress and set plans in motion.

The extended family will provide the child a solid home, they say, just as it has for all the Carrs, so the process should prove no setback for Aquille's life work.

"I got a chance to realize my dreams," says Ashlie, a developmental therapist at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. "After all this time, Aquille's not going to miss his."

And what are his dreams? First, there's pushing himself to learn from Martin for one more year. There's adding bulk and improving his midrange shooting. Then there's moving on to Seton Hall. Carr, who has logged a 2.5 grade-point average at Patterson, plans to study sports management as a career fallback, but he hopes to spend no more than the one year the NBA requires before making himself available for the draft.

Afterward, Carr says, he'll be able to take care of everyone.

It's a plan only the best follow — the Carmelos and Derrick Roses of the world. Can he pull it off?

As Carr sees it, it's no more of a long shot than things he has already achieved.

"I learned a long time ago that when you're small, they come after you," he says. "Stay aggressive, and good things happen. You just don't know what they are yet."