Before the 2015-16 season even began, Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard talked highly about how a certain guard out of Brooklyn put in a tremendous amount of effort on to get better over the summer.
That guard was not Isaiah Whitehead.
It was Khadeen Carrington.
“Khadeen really got into the gym this summer,” Willard said back in October.
“He was here the whole time and he worked every single day. I think that is what’s really going to propel him to have a good season. He’s really determined to break out this season.”
Whitehead, who grew up play- ing with Carrington and was a factor in him choosing the Hall, also prepared Pirates fans to watch out for the lefty.
“Last year, he showed flashes,” he said. “And I think he’s going to be more consistent this year.”
After Friday night’s win over Xavier in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament, Carrington talked about how getting the Hall to this national stage is something he and Whitehead dreamt of.
“Well, it’s a great feeling. This is what we came to Seton Hall for. This is what we talked about before we even came here, getting Seton Hall back on the map to where it is. I think we’re doing a great job of it right now.”
As March Madness begins for the Pirates, Willard’s predictions hold true.
Although Carrington’s efforts were often overshadowed by Whitehead since his stats fell right behind the touted NBA prospect, the numbers are still there. Carrington was second this season in total points per game, averaging 14.3 behind Whitehead’s 18.4. He also ranked behind Whitehead in minutes per game with 30.9 a contest.
Carrington’s performance in the Hall’s Big East quarterfinals matchup helped propel the Pirates over the Creighton Bluejays.
He put up a career-high 27 points, with five of those buckets coming from three-point shots.
Carrington also earned himself a spot on the Big East All-tournament team after averaging 18.3 points and 4.3 rebounds to go along with two games over 20 points reflected on how their pre-college thoughts of chang- ing Seton Hall’s program worked out and how their hoops dreams turned into a reality.
“Me and Khadeen talked about it before,” Whitehead said.
“Before I committed—actually he committed before me. He really tried to string me along. I really went for it. He said they have a great group of coaches here, and that could get us better and hopefully win a Big East championship.”
Olivia Mulvihill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu or on twitter @OliviaMulvihill.