TCU assistant coach David Patrick reminisces about Final Four run in Syracuse

first_imgDETROIT — As David Patrick was watching Syracuse beat Arizona State on Wednesday, he indulged in reminiscence. This year’s SU team triggered memories of his lone season at Syracuse, 1995-96. He was a reserve point guard back then and transferred shortly after the season. But he said Wednesday night’s Syracuse game rekindled fond recollections from his time in central New York during the Orange’s Final Four run.  “We were a similar team,” Patrick said Thursday afternoon. “We were kind of an underdog when we made that Final Four run.”A familiar face for Syracuse fans will sit on the TCU bench Friday night. An assistant under TCU head coach Jamie Dixon, Patrick played one season at Syracuse back in 1995-96. He transferred to Louisiana-Lafayette because he did not play as much as he preferred, averaging 0.9 points per game in 28 appearances for the Orange. On Friday night at Little Caesars Arena, Patrick and the sixth-seeded Horned Frogs will look to end SU’s (21-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) season in an NCAA Tournament first-round matchup.MORE COVERAGE: Syracuse men’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about No. 6 seed TCU10 fun facts you need to know about TCU3 things TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said at his pre-Round of 64 press conference Published on March 15, 2018 at 8:22 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Patrick will leave for the head job at UC Riverside when TCU’s Big Dance run ends, but he has left a mark in Fort Worth, Texas. During a brief conversation Thursday, he reflected on his time at Syracuse and TCU. In two years, he helped the Horned Frogs sign a pair of top Australian prospects in Kouat Noi (10.3 points per game) and Lat Mayen. He is credited with recruiting future No. 1 NBA Draft pick Ben Simmons when he coached at LSU, and he has coached current NBA stars Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova. He has built a reputation as a strong recruiter, which helped him earn his first head coaching position. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe also has helped Dixon rebuild a TCU program that will appear in its first Big Dance since 1998. The Horned Frogs had their second-largest turnaround in school history last season, winning 12 more games than the year prior and winning the NIT title. This season, TCU went 21-11 and 9-9 in the Big 12 Conference. Patrick grew up in Australia and played four years professionally overseas. He was, among several college basketball jobs, a scout with the NBA’s Houston Rockets. But before all of that, he was a 5-foot-10, 170-guard out of a Baton Rouge, Louisiana high school who piqued Syracuse’s interest. “We recruited David,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “He was a good player, but when he came into Syracuse we had a great point guard, so he really wasn’t going to get a lot of time. So he transferred.”The 2-3 zone embedded in the Syracuse basketball culture hasn’t changed, Patrick said. Twenty-two years after leaving campus, he still keeps a few SU ties. He spoke with former SU forward Todd Burgan, who lives in Detroit, on Wednesday night. Whenever he’s in New York or New Jersey, he tries to meet up with former SU star and NBA player John Wallace. Patrick said that while at Syracuse he’d hang out with fellow freshman Donovan McNabb, the former SU football and NFL star who played five games for Syracuse basketball as a freshman. After class, he enjoyed meeting teammates at what is now the Schine Student Center. He’d grab a bite to eat on Marshall Street, and he remembers returning to Syracuse Hancock International Airport to see fans congratulating the Orange after the Final Four run. “But I was 18 years old and didn’t understand that you have to wait your time as a freshman,” Patrick said. “Given my background, I didn’t realize there was so much snow on that side of the world. I tell these kids now, if I had stuck it out, things could have been different. But me with leaving, it’s worked out good for me. I don’t regret any time I had there.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *