Carroll's turnaround on, off court impressive

Lake Clifton grad helps Wagner to first NCAA bid



March 19, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Wagner College assistant coach Jim Meil has a powerful reason beyond basketball why he wants the 15th-seeded Seahawks to upset second-seeded Pittsburgh on Friday in the NCAA tournament's first round.

"I want as many young people as possible to hear Teoine Carroll's story," said Meil of the 6-foot-2 junior starting small forward who averages 9.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists. "They can learn so much from the way he has conducted his life at Lake Clifton and up here [New York] after a rocky start at Northern and Dunbar."

Carroll lives with his grandmother and two brothers. He became a father at the age of 16, transferred to Dunbar for the 11th grade, which he flunked, and moved on to Lake Clifton for a second try at the 11th grade, Meil said.

"Teoine didn't have his act together until he got to Lake Clifton and coach [Herman] Harried," said Meil, a McDonogh grad and former Towson University assistant. "He brought his grades way up and easily qualified for college. He has taken full responsibility for his daughter, is helping raise his brothers, helping his grandmother, is scheduled to graduate on time, and doing things the right way."

After helping Dunbar and Lake Clifton win state titles, Carroll had used up his high school eligibility, so he sat out his senior year at Lake Clifton.

Carroll concentrated on the books, and Wagner head coach Dereck Whittenburg eventually came to watch a workout.

"I never saw him play in a game before he signed," said Whittenburg, who played at DeMatha and N.C. State. "He's the reason we're going to the NCAAs. He's our leader and gets the team together when things get tough. Plus, he always guards the other team's top guard."

Carroll is calm about the first NCAA basketball tournament bid by Wagner (21-10).

"Being up here isn't like being at Maryland," he said. "There's only 2,000 people here. Once in a while, somebody will come up to me and talk about it."

Carroll is tied for the Wagner lead in three-point shooting percentage (43.8) and is second in free-throw percentage (86.5).

Et cetera

Senior forward Frank Hughes (Annapolis) averaged 8.0 points and 4.7 rebounds this season as Franklin & Marshall (25-5) captured the Eastern College Athletic Conference South Regional championship. Hughes also contributed 21 steals and 13 blocks this season.

Senior Nicki Artes (Baltimore School for the Arts) tossed the shot put 37 feet, 10 inches last week for the College of Wooster (Ohio) to take fourth place in the North Coast Athletic Conference women's indoor track and field championships.

Laura Fine (Friends) had three goals and five assists in the first two games for Franklin & Marshall's women's lacrosse team (1-1). The senior attacker now has 85 goals and 31 assists for 116 points to rank third among active players in Centennial Conference scoring.

Four Baltimore area sophomores had productive afternoons Saturday as the Elizabethtown (Pa.) women's lacrosse team defeated Wilkes, 21-8, in its season opener. Amanda Simpson (Aberdeen) scored three goals and had one assist; Ally Edel (John Carroll) had four assists, one goal, four draw controls and three ground balls; Dana White (Hereford) tossed in three goals; and Sarah Scholl (John Carroll) led the Blue Jays with six draw controls, had a goal and an assist, scooped up four ground balls and forced three turnovers.

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