St. Joe's Pat Carroll shoots way to Big 5 HOF

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St. Joe's Pat Carroll shoots way to Big 5 HOF

Pat Carroll was introduced Monday night at the Palestra as Saint Joseph's all-time three-point record holder.

Almost immediately, he had to correct the evening's emcee, Harry Donahue.

As Carroll told everyone, the record for made threes by a Hawk isn't his anymore. It belongs to some kid he's been coaching and mentoring the last four years.

Here's one thing no one will ever be able to take away from him:

Carroll was inducted to the Big 5 Hall of Fame Monday night, alongside Penn's Michael Jordan, La Salle's Crista Ricketts and long-time sportswriter Dick "Hoops" Weiss.

"The Big 5 is the most unique, legendary organization in college basketball," Carroll said, before thanking those who voted him to the hall for "waiving defense" as a requirement.

Carroll, 31, has retired from basketball and now works in the pharmaceutical industry for Merck. He and his wife, Amanda, are expecting their third child in July.

"They're going to outnumber us," he said. "We might have to go to zone defense. Man-to-man's not going to cut it."

That's how much time has passed since St. Joe's perfect regular season and run to the Elite Eight in 2004, Carroll's junior year.

It's one thing to be a great shooter; it's another to be a great shooter on a team with Jameer Nelson and Delonte West. Those three probably would have gotten to the Final Four, too -- if Carroll hadn't cut his fingernails before the Oklahoma State game. If you're a Saint Joe's fan and don't get the reference, you probably don't want to click here to find out.

But 10 years later, Carroll and his former head coach, Phil Martelli, are able to laugh at the fingernail quip, even as Carroll calls the game "the most heartbreaking loss" of his career.

"A lot of us kind of went our separate ways after college," he said, referring to his teammates from the '04 team. "But recently, we're all in contact now. Jameer, Delonte -- who was just inducted into the St Joe's Hall of Fame -- there's about 10 of us on a group text. Jameer, Delonte, John Bryant, Dwayne Jones. Basically 10 players from that team and a lot of funny texts going back and forth.

"It's good to keep in touch."

Carroll has found himself revisiting that 2004 season often over the last few months. The Wichita State Shockers completed an undefeated regular season of their own this year before being eliminated by Kentucky in the Round of 32.

"I felt happy for [Wichita]," he said. "I actually spoke with a couple reporters from Kansas that would look at the similarities. It brought back so many memories. … For any team, no matter who you are, to go through an undefeated season is incredible. But at a non-BCS school, it's once in a lifetime."

Back on Hawk Hill, St. Joe's made it back to the NCAAs this season for only the second time since that famed run.

And back on Hawk Hill is exactly where Carroll finds himself. He's a graduate student studying organizational development and leadership -- and serving as an informal shooting coach for one specific player.

"As soon as I got there, I reached out to him," said St. Joe's senior Langston Galloway. "Pat's a great guy. I reached out to him because I wanted to get my shot better. … We'd do some drills that he used to do and showed me a few things."

And then he broke Carroll's records?

"And then I broke his records," he answered.

On Jan. 25 in a 77-62 win over Richmond, Galloway made the 295th three-pointer of his career, one more than Carroll's 294. The new record stands at 343. After No. 295, Galloway sent Carroll a text.

"I told him he set the bar high," Galloway said.

A little less than a month later, on Feb. 22, Galloway went 10 of 15 from behind the arc, setting a new St. Joe's single-game record for threes and breaking another mark that used to belong to Carroll, who once made nine.

"There's probably not a better kid on or off the court," Carroll said. "I'm just happy for him -- obviously not for breaking my records -- but there's not a better kid that you would wish to do that."

Everything came full circle Monday night, with Carroll going into the Big 5 hall as Galloway was recognized as the Big 5's leading scorer. The latter even found out he's been invited to play in this week's Portsmouth Invitational Tournament -- a hotbed for NBA scouts.

"This is definitely special," Galloway said. "Pat's always going to be my friend and he's just like family. We're always going to talk no matter where we're at. He's always going to be just like a brother."

Carroll will finish up his graduate degree and then look to potentially return to basketball in some capacity. He's been running youth camps for a few years along with his brother, Matt, formerly of Notre Dame and the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. Carroll even mused Monday night about a possible future in coaching.

But at least for a little while, if you find yourself at the corner of City Line and 54th, there's a chance you might run into a left-handed, lanky grad student who looks a whole lot like Pat Carroll.

"You're always looking for ways for the players to indicate to you that they made the right choice coming out of high school," Martelli said. "My point has always been that once you decide on St. Joseph's, that's your decision for 40 years.

"And Pat is really living that and showing people that he had a special experience. He's well thought of around campus, above and beyond all the shots that he made, just the way he conducted himself.

"He'll carry the name of a Hawk with him forever."

Hall of Famers
Joining Carroll in the 2014 Hall of Fame class ...

• Michael Jordan was the 1997 Ivy League rookie of the year and the 2000 Ivy League player of the year. A three-time first-team All-Ivy selection, Jordan, along with backcourt running mate Matt Langel, led Penn to back-to-back league titles in 1999 and 2000. He graduated third on the Quakers' all-time scoring list with 1,604 points and second in assists with 469, behind only current Penn head coach Jerome Allen. Jordan is now an assistant coach to Langel at Colgate. "I used to tell him what to do on the court," Jordan said. "Now he's telling me what to do."

• Crista Ricketts was named first-team All-Big 5 in each of her four seasons on Olney Ave. She's second in La Salle history in made free throws (453), third in defensive rebounds (459), third in total points (1,645), and fourth in points per game (15.1). Ricketts played at La Salle from 2003-2007 before exploring the pro game overseas in Spain, Portugal and Austria.

• Dick Weiss is one of just two men to be inducted into both the U.S. football writers Hall of Fame and U.S. basketball writers Hall of Fame. Weiss, a Philadelphia native, worked for the Philadelphia Daily News for over two decades before joining the New York Daily News in 1993. He recently covered his 42nd Final Four.

Award winners
The following coaches and players were also honored Monday night in the Big 5's year-end awards ceremony. One the men's side ...

Team champions: Villanova Wildcats

Player of the year: James Bell, Villanova
Rookie of the year: DeAndre Bembry, St. Joe's
Coach of the year: Jay Wright, Villanova

Most improved player: James Bell, Villanova
Leading scorer: Langston Galloway, St. Joe's
Leading free throw shooter: Dalton Pepper, Temple
Scholar athlete: Jimmy McDonnell, Temple

First-team
James Bell, Villanova
Tyreek Duren, La Salle
Langston Galloway, St. Joe's
Halil Kanacevic, St. Joe's
JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova

Second-team
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova
Will Cummings, Temple
Darrun Hilliard, Villanova
Dalton Pepper, Temple
Ronald Roberts Jr., St. Joe's
Jerrell Wright, La Salle

And for the women …

Team champions: St. Joe's

Player of the year: Alyssa Baron, Penn
Rookie of the year: Sydney Stipanovich, Penn
Coach of the year: Mike McLaughlin, Penn

Most improved player: Sarah Fairbanks, St. Joe's
Leading scorer: Erin Shields, St. Joe's
Leading free throw shooter: Erin Shields, St. Joe's
Scholar athlete: Erin Shields, St. Joe's

First-team
Alyssa Baron, Penn
Natasha Cloud, St. Joe's
Alicia Cropper, La Salle
Devon Kane, Villanova
Erin Shields, St. Joe's

Second-team
Karen Bonenberger, Penn
Caroline Coyer, Villanova
Sarah Fairbanks, St. Joe's
Feyonda Fitzgerald, Temple
Emily Leer, Villanova

Drexel's Chris Crawford soaks up tradition at U.S. Open

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Drexel's Chris Crawford soaks up tradition at U.S. Open

ERIN, Wis. — The U.S. Open is all about tradition. This week is the 117th playing of golf's national championship and this event more than most celebrates those golfers who play the game as amateurs. 

Soon-to-be Drexel graduate Chris Crawford has been soaking up all the traditions this week at Erin Hills. Playing in his second U.S. Open after qualifying through both local and sectional competition for the second straight year, an extremely difficult feat, the 23-year-old fifth-year senior enjoyed the amateur dinner put on by the tournament organizers with the USGA. Crawford and his fellow amateurs, a stout list including Texas' Scottie Scheffler, who shot 3-under Thursday to seize the early low amateur lead, were celebrated the entire evening — one of Crawford's early highlights in a long week here in Wisconsin. 

Crawford produced a 3-over par 75 Thursday during the first round to tie for 102nd out of a field of 156 players.

"I played OK (Thursday)," Crawford said. "I'm going to take more positives than negatives out of the round. I played really well for 14 holes and just had a few bad swings on the other four holes."

Indeed, Thursday morning started nervously for the former Drexel golf standout. On the opening par-5 first hole, he snap-hooked his drive into the weeds out of bounds to the left, resulting in a double bogey. Three holes later, he chipped one shot over the back of the fourth green and took another double-bogey, placing him 4-over through four holes. 

Although bogeys might keep many of us alive in our weekend matches, it doesn't cut it in a U.S. Open. Crawford responded well in the ensuing 14 holes, going 1-under in that stretch.

Crawford's coach Mike Dynda, who teaches him at LuLu Country Club in Glenside, Pennsylvania, said he makes a big point to prepare Crawford's mind for his big rounds.

"I texted him last night and said, 'When you got to sleep, imagine that you're on the 18th hole and you have a putt for 9-under,'" Dynda said. "It's important to go to sleep and dream like that."

On the other side, Dynda — who taught the golf team at Drexel from 2003-2015 — also told his pupil to stay away from expectations. When you're 23 and you're playing in your second consecutive U.S. Open, one might think it would be easy to get ahead of yourself. Not so with Crawford, according to Dynda.

"I've taught him to not have any expectations for the five years we've been together," Dynda said. 

Crawford had a superstar practice round on Monday, playing with Jordan Spieth, Jim Furyk and Wisconsin's own Steve Stricker.

"It was a lot of fun playing with those guys and just watching them strategize about learning a brand new U.S. Open course," Crawford said. "I think that's the biggest thing I was impressed with, was the way they talked about strategy on this golf course.

"They were all very nice with me and were very specific to ask about me and they wanted to learn a little bit about my life, so I appreciated that."

For Dynda, talking with Furyk brought back a fond memory. Furyk's father, Mike, actually sold Dynda his first set of golf clubs, Tommy Armor 845s, back in Philadelphia years ago. 

With one round in the books and the forecast calling for rain this weekend, Crawford was looking forward to having the proper mentality as he headed into Friday's second round.

"I want to go out there and just not get ahead of myself," Crawford said. "I'm going to think positively and appreciate that I'm playing in the national open."

Crawford teed off at 2:31 p.m. local time off of the 10th hole.

"This week is so cool because I never do something like this," Crawford said. "Playing in front of such large crowds is a treat and I just love the interaction with the fans before and after the rounds as well."

Last year at Oakmont, dozens of friends and family made the drive down the turnpike to see him play in his first U.S. Open. This year, Crawford estimates that he has around 15 friends and family out in the galleries cheering him on. Though coach Dynda caddied last year, those duties have gone to current Drexel golf coach Ben Feld.

It's a party this week of Drexel golf proportions.

Atlantic 10 reveals 2017-18 schedule pairings

Atlantic 10 reveals 2017-18 schedule pairings

Philadelphia basketball fans will be getting a double dip of one of the Atlantic 10 conference's best rivalries once again next season.

With the league's 18-game regular season format in place for a fourth straight year, it was revealed Wednesday afternoon that Saint Joseph's and La Salle will battle twice — once in North Philly at Tom Gola Arena and a second time at the Hawks' home just off City Line Avenue. Each team in the 14-member conference will play eight teams once and five teams twice.

The full pairings for the Explorers and Saint Joe's are listed here:

La Salle
Home: Dayton, George Mason, St. Bonaventure, VCU, Fordham, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis
Away: Davidson, Duquesne, George Washington, Richmond, Fordham, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis

Saint Joseph’s
Home: Dayton, Duquesne, Saint Louis, VCU, Fordham, George Mason, La Salle, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure
Away: Davidson, George Washington, Rhode Island, Richmond, Fordham, George Mason, La Salle, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure

It was also rumored earlier in the day that the Hawks have added a Big Five matchup at Temple for Dec. 9.