First it was Rivard, who in 2013 torched third-seeded New Mexico to the tune of 17 points on just nine shots—all of them from behind the arc. The senior never left the court as the 14th-seeded Crimson walked out of the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah with the 68-62 upset win over the Lobos.
A few weeks later, Albrecht had his moment to shine as Michigan made a run to the final. Averaging a shade above two points per game, he seemed to be the most unlikely of impact players coming into the game. However, the 175-pound guard exited the building with his opponents’ utmost respect.
Though Michigan would fall, 82-76, Albrecht’s 4-of-5 mark from downtown and 17 points—and just like Rivard, on nine shots—kept the Wolverines in the game and the guard in the minds of national viewers everywhere.
The two games were emblematic of the philosophy for Carroll’s program. NMH didn’t just get its hoops recruits to college; once at college, Carroll’s players were prepared to excel as well.
“We want these guys to play on the next court,” Carroll said. “If you are the best player on your playground, you need to find a new playground. If you’re playing in prep school, you need to play like you’re in college. If you’re playing in college, you need play like you’re at the next level.”
And as long as Carroll’s recruits continue to buy into their coach’s message, more and more will continue to play at the next level. With the growing number of players prioritizing their education alongside athletics, the trend towards the Ivy League isn’t likely to stop anytime soon.
“I think [Ivy League recruiting] is going to continue with the momentum that it has,” Carroll said. “I don’t see any reason why it would slow down. There are just going to be more and more kids who understand the benefits of playing in the Ivy League.”