7-footer Sajon Ford commits to Northeastern

September 30th, 2014 by Zolan Kanno-Youngs

Sajon Ford, the 7-foot little brother to Northeastern forward Quincy Ford, has officially committed to Northeastern, according to the elder Ford.

Sajon is one of 10 siblings from Quincy’s St. Petersburg, Fla family. The two brothers will have one year to play together after Quincy red-shirted last season due to back surgery.

In addition to confirming his brother’s vocal commitment to a OBW reporter, Quincy also took to Instagram to show support for his brother, writing:

“Big [shout-out] to the little bro [Sajon Ford] and his commitment to Northeastern! Welcome to the NU Family! So proud of you and all the hard work you put in. Lookin forward to a year playin wit ya boi !!”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs covers the CAA for One-Bid Wonders and also writes for The Boston Globe. Follow him on twitter at @KannoYoungs.

Truth, tough love and the unbreakable bond between Tommy Dempsey and Jordan Reed

September 29th, 2014 by Sam Perkins
Binghamton junior forward Jordan Reed and head coach Tommy Dempsey have an unbreakable bond, built on truth and tough love. Courtesy photo / Binghamton Athletics

Binghamton junior forward Jordan Reed and head coach Tommy Dempsey have an unbreakable bond, built on truth and tough love. Courtesy photo / Binghamton Athletics

Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
- Muhammad Ali

It was their darkest moment. It led to their finest hour. It nearly ripped them apart. It was where their unbreakable bond was forged.

On Jan. 15, the Binghamton Bearcats sluggishly stumbled onto the court at tiny Pritchard Gymnasium and smack into a massacre. For 40 minutes, the host Seawolves beat the bag out of the visitors. When the dust settled and final buzzer mercifully sounded, the scoreboard read Stony Brook 67, Binghamton 47. The game wasn’t even as close as its lopsided final score.

Jordan Reed, a Binghamton’s star sophomore small forward and the program’s leading scorer, rebounder and epicenter for his entire young career, spent the final 31 minutes riding the pine, benched by head coach Tommy Dempsey for selfish play and lackluster effort.

When the Bearcats next took the floor five days later in Albany, Reed wasn’t on the court, the sidelines, or even within the same area code. He was sitting back in Binghamton, in his dorm room, alone, on his birthday, left behind by his team.

“It was a really rocky time in my life, it was my birthday, and we weren’t doing to well,” Reed reflected during a recent interview. “I was young and dumb as they say.”

Most outsiders assumed Reed’s relationship with his coach irrevocably damaged and that the sophomore would follow the path of least resistance and take the easy way out, like many young players, and transfer.

“I think a lot of kids now, when something doesn’t go their way, the first thing they do is run,” said Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell during a recent interview on what has been dubbed an “epidemic” of transfers.

Eight months later, Reed still proudly sports the Bearcats’ jersey, is still the epicenter of the program and is now a Player of the Year candidate. His bond with his coach, which looked beyond repair, is now unbreakable. Both point to the “tough love” lessons imparted from coach to player for the “real” relationship they enjoy today.

“He’s a guy you look up to — I wouldn’t say a father because I have a father, but he is definitely a father figure,” said Reed.

“I’ve been very hard on him, but we have a really good relationship, contrary to what many would thing. It’s kind of like with your own son, you’re hard on them so they can be the best player they can be.

“I respect the heck out of the kid,” said Dempsey, palpable pride in his voice. “I think the fact that he stayed has shown me a lot, in this day and age, about his DNA, and his commitment to our program here.”

Both Reed and Dempsey point to a blunt and at times emotional closed-door meeting between the two, along with Reed’s parents, Curtis and Sonya, following the Stony Brook debacle and preceding his suspension for the Albany game, as the turning point in Reed’s career and his relationship with his coach.

“I brought him in and I told him and his parents if he decides he doesn’t want to be here, he’ll have 100 phone calls from people and he will have many, many options. I needed him to know that if he does want to be here, that these are my expectations from this point forward, and if he doesn’t want to be here, I’ll sign the paperwork tomorrow,” said Dempsey.

“It was at the point where we were either going to make up or break up, where things could have either gone left or right, and we made up. I could tell he really genuinely cared about me beyond being a player as far as he cared about me as a person and a man,” said Reed. (more…)

Man Versus Ball: Catching up with the former voice of the Catamounts, Chris Villani

September 25th, 2014 by Jon Hart

From 2011-2013 Chris Villani was the voice of the Catamounts, serving as the play-by-play announcer for the team for two seasons. Now working in Boston for the Boston Herald, the WEEI Sports Radio Network, and for ESPN Radio in Bristol,
Connecticut, Villani still has found memories of his time traveling with John Becker and the Catamounts, and took some time with OBW’s Jon Hart to reminisce about the NCAA Tournament trip, his place as the Catamounts’ undisputed Scategories champion, the best Catamounts to interview, Beach night in sub-zero Maine, and coach Becker’s introduction to Mister Boston Blackberry Brandy.

OBW: So you’re a Syracuse grad. You followed The Orange as a member of the media. Where were you the night The Cats upset Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament? What were your thoughts that evening?

Chris Villani: Believe it or not, I was probably one of the few Syracuse students who wasn’t all that upset about the upset against Vermont. The reason being, I was on spring break in Tampa during my sophomore year and having too much fun to worry about it too much. The game took place in Worcester, about 20 minutes from where I grew up. Had I not been down in Florida, I most certainly would have been there to witness the carnage firsthand.

After covering The Cats for a few years, how has your perspective on that monumental upset changed?

I definitely gained an appreciation for how much that victory meant to UVM when I was up there. It’s a lot different for a mid-major program when you’re on that side of a significant upset. It’s not the first time Syracuse has been beaten in the tournament by a lower seed and certainly will not be the last, but for Vermont fans, that was a great moment and one to be celebrated.

When do you know that sports broadcasting is your future? Is it in little league, or before. or much later?

I had a teacher in high school who knew that I had a love for sports and also my affinity for talking. She suggested I try doing play-by-play for the high school football team that season, and the rest, as they say, is history.

How did you land the gig in Burlington?

It’s the only job I’ve ever had when I didn’t know anybody going in. I applied, one of probably 100 or so, and was fortunate enough to get an interview and an offer.

How different is it to cover The Cats as opposed to a BCS team like Syracuse?

The biggest difference is probably the relative access to the players and coaches. John Becker is a very down-to-earth guy and great to work with and the players were always more accessible and accommodating. Both sports information department’s were very helpful. Obviously the venues and the size of the crowds are different, but the passion for college sports is very similar in both places, in my opinion.

When you’re covering The Cats, are you traveling with the team? Are you on the bus? The planes? What’s the grind like? As a member of the media, how much of a distance do you have to keep from the team your covering?

On most road trips, I didn’t travel with the team, I opted to travel independently. There were a couple of reasons for this. First, it allowed me to leave on my own schedule and miss as little time doing my talk show as possible. Second, it allowed me to maintain a little bit of distance from the team. I never wanted to be around too much. I always thought it was important as someone who had to occasionally be critical of the team in a talk show format to maintain that professional distance and not always be reliant upon them for transportation.

That said, they were always more than willing to tote me along whenever necessary. Road trips were fun. The team watches movies or TV shows. Some of the favorites during my two years were Entourage and movies like The Dark Night Rises and Thor. We also passed the time by playing Scategories, and I’m not ashamed to say that I remain the undefeated champion. Most times, the team checked into the hotel in the evening, the night before the game. There’s always a set schedule with meals, which I typically did not attend, shoot around, study time, and of course leaving for the game. (more…)

UMBC signs high-scoring point guard Joel Wincowski

September 16th, 2014 by Sam Perkins

wincowskiUMBC head coach Aki Thomas has spent the better part of his first two years in Catonsville doing his best to plug the gaping holes left in the in the programs from when the previous head coach ran it aground.

In his first two seasons, Thomas’ primary focus was on repairing the biggest hole, the team’s atrocious defensive. Over that time, he recruited long, energetic athletes who “get after it” on defense, turning a team that couldn’t stop a runny nose to a competent defensive unit that has shown glimpses of great play shutting down opposing scorers.

Now Thomas needs to field a roster that can create shots and put the ball in the basket, especially from behind the arc. The Retrievers landed a game-changing scorer in Thomas’ first true recruiting class last season in dynamic point guard Rodney Elliot. They also appear to have a pair of freshmen with the potential to score in 6-foot-5-inch long-range gunner Malcolm Brent and shifty 6-foot-2-inch combo-guard Jourdan Grant.

With the commitment earlier today of Joel Wincowski, they may have just landed another scorer. A 6-foot-2 inch scoring point guard, Wincowski has a reputation as a physically and mentally tough guard with an extremely high basketball IQ and range out to well beyond the NBA 3-point line.

A native of Lake George in upstate New York, Wincowski averaged 27.3 points per game and was named the New York State Class C Player of the Year as a sophomore and averaged nearly 30 points per game as a junior at Lake George High. Schools like Albany, Siena and Boston University all offered him scholarships early in the recruiting process, and bigger schools like Purdue had expressed interest as of late. (more…)

Heaven is a Playground: FIBA World Cup 2014 — Human nature, Gilas Pilipinas and Andray Blatche’s redemption

September 12th, 2014 by Noah Perkins

blatche3

Human Nature is about as fickle as an 8-year-old boy chasing tumbleweeds through the backwoods of Georgia, or so I’m told.

Why are we so quick to judge and falsely label others, when we all know too well the feeling of having our insides ripped apart by the cattle prod of erroneous expectations?

I vividly remember my charter school basketball team playing a team with an Asian player. All game, on the bench, one of our guys called him “Yao” and “Soy Sauce.”

Given the level of disrespect hoisted upon us by bigger high schools, you would think we’d have developed an intrinsic appreciation for others not fitting the stereotype: They thought we sucked because we didn’t have our own gym; we thought he sucked because of our perception of Asians.

As the old New York City parable goes: The Italians beat up the Irish, so in turn the Irish beat up the Jews.

Remember when Carmelo Anthony, Jeremy Lin’s then teammate, publicly ridiculed Lin’s potential contract extension as “ridiculous”? Or how about when an ESPN anchor referred to him as a “chink”? Or, what about Jason Whitlock playing the all too familiar Asian Men have a small endowment card? Ten years prior to “Linsanity,” Shaq said about a rookie Yao Ming, that he was going to drop step and put an elbow into his face. Around the same time, Chris Tucker went for the easy laugh in Rush Hour, hitting Jason Whitlock’s familiar punch line as an Asian dude’s towel came off.

These are just a few of the more visible examples of the perpetuating emasculation of Asian men. I’m probably guilty of it as well — most of us are.

Lets face it, despite outperforming every ethnic group in this country academically and socio-economically, Asians, especially Asian men, still get no respect in mainstream American society. It’s all mathletics, small dicks and hello kitty backpack jokes.

Which brings me to Gilas Pilipinas. I wonder how many players on the Philippine National Team have, at some point, suffered the same indignation as the kid I played against in High School? (more…)

#TBT — OBW Classic Clip: Albany’s Chris Wyatt dunks all over BU

September 11th, 2014 by Sam Perkins

In honor of “throwback Thursday” AKA TBT, OBW editor-in-chief will be delving into his video archive every Thursday to share classic One-Bid Wonders clips.

Perhaps I should call this “clips that remind me of my father,” because, ultimately, that’s what everything on website circles back to.

From a purely statistical standpoint, Chris Wyatt’s college career was pedestrian – perhaps even completely forgettable – in every category except one: He stayed.

During his playing days at Albany, which spanned from 2001 to 2005 and coincided with Will Brown’s early days at the helm, Wyatt’s was one of the lone constants on a revolving door roster. Suiting up next to at least 31 different teammates during his four years on the Great Danes, Wyatt watched more than a dozen players leave the Great Danes program and was the only incoming freshman in 2001 – and the only four-year recruit of previous head coach Scott Beeten – to survive for four seasons in the program.

Wyatt’s career averages of just 18.6 minutes, 3.7 points and 3.2 points over 104 games were a reflection of the constant pain – due to chronic knee, lower leg and foot injuries – and the program’s constant state of rebuilding that defined his time in the Capital Region.

But there were always flashes of athletic brilliance, like the two dunks posted above from the Great Danes 67-55 loss to regular season champion Boston University in 2004. At 6-foot-5 and a rock-hard 235 pounds of muscle, Wyatt was strong as an ox, nimble on his feet and an explosive athlete and exceptional dunker (one of the reasons he shot 50 percent from the floor for his career).

Wyatt never experienced a winning season in Albany, but he also never gave up and never stopped working during a time when Brown was struggling to simply field a roster, let alone lay the foundation for future success.

During Wyatt’s junior season the Great Danes went 5-23 and had the dubious honor, after starting a game at Hartford with just seven players in uniform, of finishing with just four players on the court.

One week later, Wyatt and the vastly outgunned, undermanned and overmatched Great Danes gave a Terriers squad that played an 11-man rotation, went 17-1 in conference play and won 23 games, with Wyatt providing two highlight-worthy slams, the first of which coming on a beautiful spin-move off a pick-and-roll, splitting Terriers forwards Rashad Bell and Jason Grochowalski (two of the leagues toughest and most athletic big men) for a thunderous slam. The second came when Wyatt followed a Jon Iati miss, soaring above BU’s vaunted front court to corral the rebound with one hand and, in one motion, slam it back through the hoop. (more…)

Coaches Q & A series: Hartford’s John Gallagher — We’ve come a long way, baby

September 8th, 2014 by Sam Perkins
Hartford head coach John Gallagher. OBW file photo / Sam Perkins

Hartford head coach John Gallagher. OBW file photo / Sam Perkins

The summer of 2010 was a crazy time for John Gallagher. In a matter of eye-blinks, the then 32-year old Gallagher went from not having a guaranteed paycheck as the assistant on the staff of good friend and interim head coach Jerome Allen at Penn, to a guaranteed gig when Allen was hired as the head coach, only to turn around be immediately hired as the associate head coach Boston College by close friend and mentor Steve Donahue.

But before Gallagher could even unpack his bags in Chestnut Hill, he was offered his first head coaching position at Hartford – a program he had helped build the foundation for only a few years earlier.

The catch, of course, was that Gallagher would be replacing his best friend, Dan Leibovitz, who had just resigned after two scuffling seasons. Gallagher had been the top assistant and lead recruiter on Leibovitz’ original staff, helping to take the program from the conference play-in game in 2007, to a then program record 18 wins and the America East championship game in 2008 (the program’s only appearance in the America East Championship).

In the two years after Gallagher left for an assistant coaching position at Penn, Hartford crashed and burned, winning a combined 15 games while getting trounced in two-straight conference tournaments – including a 41-point embarrassment on its home court against Boston University in 2010.

Shortly after taking the reigns, and before he had coached a single official practice, Gallagher and his new – and old – team (he had recruited virtually the entire senior class during his first stint in Hartford) boarded 30 hour flight to Australia for a 10-day tour of basketball and team building.

Four years later, the Hawks returned to The Land Down under, but while the destination was the same, everything else regarding the team has changed dramatically.

“Four years ago, I was hearing from two people: Sam Perkins, and my mother,” he laughed. “When I got back this year, I’ve already had calls from at least six different reporters wanting to talk about Australia.”

In his first season in Hartford, the Hawks won 11 wins, finishing sixth, before knocking off third-seed Maine in the conference tournament. That off season, Gallagher landed what has proven to be a game-changing six-man freshman class, among them power forward and future First Team All-Conference selection Mark Nwakamma, and starters Yolonzo Moore III (point guard), Corban Wroe (guard/forward) and Nate Sikma.

Before they could help the program turn the proverbial corner, that freshman class had to endure one of the harshest trials by fire, losing the first 13 games of their careers to open the 2011-2012 season. But the Hawks survived, finishing 7-9 in conference play, upset third-seed Boston University in the tournament quarterfinals and took Vermont to the limit before losing a double-overtime thriller in the semis.

The Hawks have won 17 games in each of the past two seasons, and continue to knock on the door that separates the true conference powers from the rest of the America East. Injuries, an inconsistent low-post presence, and arguably an over reliance on the three-ball have continued to stand in Hartford’s way from truly contending for a title.

With six seniors, including Nwakamma, who has entrenched himself as THE single most important player on the roster – and perhaps the single-most important Hawk since Vin Baker when considering his importance to Hartford’s title hopes – on the roster, this would seem to be the most important year both in Gallagher’s career and Hartford basketball history. Yet the fifth-year head coach refuses to see it that way.

Upon returning from 14 days in Australia, highlighted by five games against professional teams, and sightseeing trips to Sydney Harbor, Melbourne, and The Great Barrier Reef, among other spots, Gallagher sat down with One-Bid Wonders to talk about the Hawks’ recent trip to the land of Koala’s and Kangaroos. He also looked ahead to the upcoming season, touching upon what he views as needed areas of improvement and the keys – and barometer – of a successful season, as well as why he loves recruiting Aussies.

Gallagher also took a look back at his long, and strange journey to West Hartford and back again, offering insight on what it was like to replace his best friend, and his desire for the program to never forget its humble roots.

Sam Perkins: How was the return trip to Australia?

I went four years ago. And this time around, to have a team that can compete against some of the professional teams makes you feel good from basketball standpoint. But from a life-experience standpoint, our players will never forget what they experienced and I won’t forget it.

In addition to the basketball, what were some of the more memorable experiences from The Land Down Under?

Looking out over Sydney Harbor, touring Melbourne, visiting the Great Barrier Reef. They were incredible.

When we went on the Great Barrier Reef, everybody was snorkeling, and a few of us dived, and a few of us went on this machine called the “Scuba Doo.”

Going to the AFL (the premier) Australian rules football league game and there’s 85,000 people, it was a sport that our players don’t really know, but they really got into it.

(Editor’s Note: The Scuba Doo is a tiny, motorized, personalized submarine of sorts, in which the passenger’s head goes inside an air bubble, allowing them to sightsee underwater for prolonged periods).

So who were the best swimmers on the team?

There’s three great swimmers: The elite swimmers are Corban Wroe, Nate Sikma and Jamie Schneck.

Did anyone box a kangaroo or wrestle a crocodile while you were down there?

Well, I can’t really speak for what Corban does on his own time…

Speaking of Corban, he may have been the most improved player in the entire league last season, going from a defense-only role player during his first two and a half years in the league, to a go to scorer. What can you tell me about him and his transformation?

The funny story about Corban is, when we first tried to recruit him after the first trip (to Australia four years ago), he said “thanks but no thanks” — we were so bad. A few months later, coach G (associate head coach Chris Gerlufsen) told me that Corban actually had some interest in us, and I said, “nah, nah, we have no interest in him.”

Coach G had to put his foot down and tell me to check my ego because he was a program-changing player. Corban Wroe is one guy who is the heart and soul of what we do and what we’re about as a program. Corban coming from that distance and making the commitment is just awesome. (more…)

Evan Cooper officially out at Hartford — at least for now

Head coach John Gallagher left open the possibility for a return in a year.

September 8th, 2014 by Sam Perkins
 Evan Cooper. OBW photo / Sam Perkins.

Evan Cooper. OBW photo / Sam Perkins.

Upon returning from two weeks leading his team through the land down under, Hartford head coach John Gallagher confirmed what was already well known around the league: point guard Evan Cooper is no longer a member of the Hawks.

“He’s taking a year off. I can’t say anything other than that,” said Gallagher during a recent interview.

However, Gallagher left the door open for Cooper’s return down the road, saying, “I hope he joins us in a year.”

Cooper wasn’t flashy or fancy, but the 6-foot point guard was crafty and rarely made mistakes with the ball in his hands, averaging 7.5 points, 1.7 assists and two rebounds in 60 games over his two seasons in Hartford, making 23 starts. Cooper during his two years in the program, Cooper was the only other primary ball handler in addition to starting point guard Yolonzo Moore III, and gave the Hawks the ability to move Moore off the ball.

A career 38.4 percent 3-point shooter, Cooper was one of the Hawks more accurate long-range gunners. However, with the emergence of Corban Wroe and Taylor Dyson, along with the white-hot shooting of Wes Cole, Cooper saw his offensive touches fluctuate during the second half of his sophomore season.

Beginning in late spring, rumors persisted around America East coaching circles that Cooper was no longer a member of the Hawks, which was apparently confirmed midsummer when his name disappeared from the team’s roster, and was officially confirmed by Gallagher after the Hawks’ foreign tour of Australia – a trip Cooper did not make.

Moore, a senior, has always been penciled in as the Hawks starting point guard, and according to Gallagher, he “was terrific,” running the show against Australian pros. However, Cooper’s departure leaves sophomore Justin Graham, who averaged just 0.8 points, 0.3 assists, one rebound and 8.4 minutes in 30 games last year, as the only other true point guard on the roster.

Heaven is a Playground: I’m sorry, Senegal, I screwed up

September 5th, 2014 by Noah Perkins

senegal

The passion Senegal plays with is why I love the game of basketball. What they have done thus far in the FIBA World Cup has been humanity reaffirming, touching and, above all, a tribute to everyone who has ever been marginalized or made to feel as less.

On some level, I understand why so many baseball players were taking (and continue to take) steroids: Every other player was doing it; not doing it meant getting squeezed out of the league, at least for the average player (for the Brian Roberts’s of the baseball world, juicing is human nature — it is not an ethical dilemma).

What I found unimaginably grating about the whole ordeal was the complete lack of accountability players were willing to take after they got caught. Instead of saying “everyone is doing it, If I didn’t I would lose my job,” all we got was a bunch of “I was young and stupid,” “I didn’t take steroids period… knowingly,” “I had a thyroid condition,” “It helps with my ADHD,” “I didn’t know what I was taking,” “I don’t know why I tested positive,” and a bunch of other bullshit (I’m looking at you, David Ortiz).

It was all meaningless white noise.

Power exists in a simple, “I screwed up; I wish I didn’t, but I did.”

So, with that sentiment, I would like to acknowledge my own mistake:

Senegal, I screwed up. I overlooked you as a team. I shouldn’t have, but I did. I am truly sorry. Watching you play has been a privilege and a pleasure.

In my preview, I wrote: If it weren’t for Senegal, Andray Blatche and his Filipino comrades would go winless.

While the statement turned out factually accurate, it doesn’t reflect the talent and heart both of these teams showed over the past week.

I then went on to say: This year the team’s sole NBA player is seven-footer Hamady N’Diaye of the Sacramento Kings. That is a completely false statement made in a moment of work-week induced laziness and lack of due diligence.

Minnesota Timberwolves Forward Gorgui Dieng has put the Senegalese team on his back, averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds a game. How did I manage to overlook him? For my money, he’s the tournament MVP.

Then there’s former D-league player Mohammed Faye, who has been a crunch time monster. What about the aforementioned N’Diaye? On a bad back the dude has dominated the paint defensively and put points on the board when he’s needed to.

Coming into this tournament, Senegal had not won an international game since 1998, before that you had to go back another 20 years for its only other win. By beating Puerto Rico, a country with a basketball pedigree and Croatia, one of the better teams competing in the World Cup, the country doubled it’s win total of the past near 40 years in two days.

Look at how improbable this run really is: (more…)

The fighter: Hartford’s John Carroll

September 3rd, 2014 by Sam Perkins
John Carroll. Courtesy photo / Hill School

John Carroll. Courtesy photo / Hill School

Coaches look for players who fight with everything they have to get onto the court.

According to Hartford head coach John Gallagher, Hawks freshman forward John Carroll has taken that intensity to another level.

“John Carroll is ready for a fight when he walks on the floor — John Carroll is ready,” said Gallagher.

According to Gallagher, the 6-foot-8-inch, 220-pound native of Dublin, Ireland, by way of the Hill School in Philadelphia, is good; really good.

If John wasn’t athletic, he’d be a really good Atlantic-10 player, but he is athletic,” raved Gallagher on a recent afternoon, adding, “John Carroll is a dynamic player.”

The scouting report on Carroll is that he is a skilled forward who is comfortable playing on the perimeter, can shoot the ball in the mid-range and can score around the hoop. But according to Gallagher, it’s Carroll’s ability to impact the game on the defensive end and on the glass, and above all his toughness and tenacity, that have the coach the most excited.

“He’s a killer, man,” said Gallagher. “It’s all about being physical; it’s all about having a presence and John Gallagher has a presence.

Carroll spent the past three seasons in the states, spending two years at IMG Academy before transferring to Hill School for his senior season. Given that, despite plenty of exposure, Carroll chose Hartford over the likes of Columbia and Binghamton, it would be fair to take Gallagher’s rave reviews with a grain of salt and a healthy portion of skepticism.

But according to Gallagher, Carroll is a late bloomer whose background – coming from a country not known for producing premier basketball players – worked against him. More than that, according to Gallagher, Carroll is the real deal.

“This is a competition and it is a competition for him every time he steps in the gym.”

Despite his expectations, Gallagher’s initial plans were to easy Carroll into the rotation this season, but according to the fifth-year head coach, the freshman forced his hand during the team’s recent trip to Australia. (more…)