Nov. 17, 2004
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Pat Carroll looked comfortable as always with his shot Tuesday, sinking free throw after free throw with nary a miss - or grimace - in sight.
Making uncontested shots from the line or from 3-point range during a routine Saint Joseph's practice is one thing. Getting twisted and tested against No. 1 Kansas is quite another.
Carroll remained hopeful Tuesday that his dislocated right shoulder would feel good enough to let him play in the Hawks' season opener next week against the Jayhawks. Carroll, a junior who started all 65 games the last two seasons, was scheduled for more tests on Thursday.
Carroll's been participating in some shooting drills and non-contact drills, while trying to avoid putting too much stress on the shoulder. Coach Phil Martelli said Carroll's status could be a game-time decision.
"If there's any risk he could be doing any damage, then we won't play him Tuesday night," he said.
One reason for optimism is that Carroll is a lefty so the injury hasn't affected his shot all that much. That's one plus for the Hawks, who need to find scoring after losing Jameer Nelson and Delonte West to the NBA.
Carroll averaged 10.1 points last season and led the Atlantic 10 in 3-point shooting for the second straight year. He was sixth in the NCAA in 3s at 46 percent and hit the go-ahead shot against Oklahoma State in the NCAA regional final - the shot that could have put the Hawks in the Final Four until John Lucas spoiled it with a 3 in the final seconds.
Carroll jammed his shoulder diving for a loose ball in October and was expected to miss about three weeks. Playing against the Jayhawks would be right on target.
Carroll first thought the injury was much worse.
"How could this happen my senior year? You never even think about that happening," he said. "You have to look at it as a small bump in the road. You're going to go through injuries throughout your career. I'll get into the flow soon enough."
Martelli said Carroll was having a strong offseason and had made improvements in three key areas - rebounding, shooting off the dribble and leadership. The third one could be the hardest for the soft-spoken Carroll.
"It just not in his nature to be vocal," Martelli said. "We need somebody other than the coaches to take some of the vocal responsibilities."
As for rebounding (the 6-foot-5 forward only averaged 3.6 a game last season), Carroll insisted that he's working on it - unless that dang shoulder acts up.
"I think rebounding might be a little more of a problem, but Coach says I don't rebound or dribble with my right hand anyway, so what's the difference really," Carroll said, smiling.
Notes: F Dave Mallon will miss two weeks with a stress fracture in his right foot. Mallon has been plagued by foot injuries nearly his entire three-year career. ... The Hawks signed Edwin Lashley (St. Thomas More Prep of Oakdale, Conn.) Alvin Mofunanya (Dwight Morrow High of Englewood, N.J.) and Ahmad Nivins (St. Anthony High of Jersey City, N.J.) to letters of intent Tuesday. The three join Jordan Fowler in next year's freshman class.