The Seton Hall men’s basketball team’s New Year’s Eve clash with St. John’s was supposed to be about former Abraham Lincoln star Isaiah Whitehead taking on the Red Storm program he spurned during his recruitment.
All of that changed just days before the contest when Whitehead was ruled out with a stress fracture in his foot. That gave another Brooklyn star a chance to leave his own mark on the budding local college hoops rivalry.
Former Bishop Loughlin star Khadeen Carrington, a freshman at Seton Hall, turned in a superb performance in a 78–67 victory over No. 15-ranked St. John’s at the Prudential Center last Thursday. The guard scored 11 points off the bench, took two important offensive fouls, and did an excellent job guarding St. John’s star D’Angelo Harrison, one of the Big East’s best players.
“Khadeen jumped in and played the best he played all year,” said Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard.
It was no coincidence that his best performance yet came against local rival St. John’s. Carrington said he was motivated by preseason comments made by Red Storm guard D’Angelo Harrison that he and the team didn’t consider the Pirates a rival.
“It was the way they talked about us,” Carrington said. “I guess they didn’t have any respect for us. We took that as motivation.”
Carrington made sure to take it to St. John’s early and often. He consistently got to the basket, leading to St. John’s early foul trouble. He connected on seven of eight free throws. He admitted to being more committed to defense than he was in high school, after doing a good job making Harrison work for every one of his 25 points.
Carrington followed that performance by scoring 17 points and shooting nine of 10 from the free throw line in his 35 minutes of play in Seton Hall’s 66–61 overtime win over No. 5 Villanova last Saturday.
Whitehead is averaging 11.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 11 games. His injury has opened the door for others to shine and Carrington has taken full advantage of it.
“It just shows the type of depth we have,” Carrington said. “We are a great team even without Isaiah. Of course, Isaiah brings things that all of us don’t bring. We are a deep team and team to be reckoned with.”
Carrington really came on during his senior year at Bishop Loughlin. He won the Catholic High School Athletic Association Player of the Year award, and was named the All-Brooklyn player of the year by the Courier after leading the Lions back to the Catholic Intersectional title game.
Still he was not as ballyhooed as Whitehead and freshman forward Angel Delgado. With Whitehead out, Carrington is becoming a major headache for opponents on both ends of the floor. Past impressions of him are beginning to change.
“I think I kind of got lost,” Carrington said. “I wasn’t worried.”