The Carroll Times

The Student News Site of Archbishop John Carroll High School

The Carroll Times

The Carroll Times

Sports writer Michael Livingston issues reports cards to the boys varsity basketball team

The 2023-24 Archbishop Carroll Varsity Boys Basketball season was one of dramatic change. 

With new players coming in and out of the team’s ranks, the team threw out one of the youngest lineups in Philadelphia Catholic League history. The year saw a majority of these players take huge steps in their game and work to make huge strides in the Philadelphia Catholic League.

Now, after following the club for a full season, The Carroll Times will break down each player’s season in report card format with grades ranging from an A+ to an F. These “report cards” are based on court play and off-the-court leadership, among many other considerations. 

A: #2/4, Guard, Ian Williams ’26 (captain)

As the only returning varsity player from the prior season, much weight was put on the shoulders of a young Ian Williams, who, as only a sophomore, was named the team´s captain. 

“Captain, leader of the program,” said head coach Francis Bowe. “This past season he stepped right into the role we needed him to. He got guys involved, was always the toughest one out there through thick and thin, and was always the sounding board for the guys. For him, though, it was him understanding the team goes as he goes.”

In 28.4 minutes a game for the Pats, Williams averaged 13.1 Points, 7.5 rebounds, and one assist, all while being the leading voice on and off the court. 

“I think I had a good season,” said Williams. “It was ups and downs and a lot of learning experiences that I had to go through. Emotionally and mentally, I just went through a lot this season, but I think it’s all going to work out to a benefit going into AAU. I think I’ve become a better leader and I feel more confident in myself, and I took better care of my body. I thought it was a great learning experience, though, even when I go to college or with the next two years coming up.”

Williams made his mark on the season in the team´s fourth Catholic League contest of the season. After a week of questions surrounding Friday´s game due to a snowstorm that knocked out the power at Carroll, Williams, who had struggled emotionally with the club’s recent five-game losing streak, came out on fire and led his Patriots to a 49-48 win over La Salle. The dagger, however, was Williams’s pull-up jump shot to win the game against the Explorers as the buzzer sounded. The win would put Carroll on the right track as they began a 9-2 stretch throughout the rest of the Catholic League season and into the PCL playoffs. 

Williams, who currently boasts division one offers from The University of Albany and Rider, should get a lot of looks this coming summer through AAU ball and heading into a promising 2024-25 season where the Pats are one of the favorites for the Catholic League title. 

B: #11, Guard, Nate Rusike ’26 (captain)

One of the club’s silent leaders, Rusike was the heart and soul of Carroll basketball, helping off the bench on most occasions when a little hustle was needed. 

“Earning, getting, deserving that captain spot,” said Bowe. “Not getting as much playing time as the other guys, he does the things in the classroom, on the floor, off the floor, that you dream about as a coach. He is an ambassador to the school, he’s a wonderful young man, and he is improving every day. He is one of those stories that you look at after four years and go, ‘A kid that may have had some talent; the odd man out sometimes.’ He always just comes in and works his tail off every day.”

On a team full of Division One recruits, being undersized and at times overmatched, the silent Rusike made impacts in any way he could, whenever he could. 

The sophomore averaged 2.1 points and 1.3 rebounds through 8.4 minutes a game.

“I had a good season,” said Rusike. “There were a lot of ups and a lot of downs. I battled a lot mentally with confidence and things like that but towards the end of the season, my confidence got up. Being named a captain was also a big change for me, but it also taught me how to be a better leader and more.”

Heading into 2024-25, it’s going to be interesting to see how Rusike is able to continue to grow his game and work on his attributions on the court as well as continuing to be a mainstay off of it. 

A: #0, Forward, Luca Foster ’26

Quite possibly the Patriot’s biggest on-the-court contributor, Foster made himself into a household name in the PCL during the 2023-24 season. 

While averaging a team-high 13.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game, the sophomore Foster also was among the league leaders in dunks. 

“Explosive,” said Bowe. “He’s got the kind of talent that colleges want to see. He has the power-five, big-five ability to him. What I appreciate the most about him is that he is one of the first guys on the court and one of the last guys to leave. I think those attributes are going to help him continue to rise up those scouting boards.”

Foster’s best moment of the year was shadowed by the team’s worst. During Carroll’s loss in the Catholic League quarterfinals to Neumann-Goretti, it was Foster who led the Pats and kept them in the game with a 30-point night. However, as the cheers rained down and the court was rushed in the Shoebox gym on South 10th street it was easy to see how Foster ‘s night was so easily forgotten. 

With offers from Saint Joseph’s University, Temple University, Penn State, and rising interest from the University of Miami, Foster is looking to have a breakout season in 2024-25, possibly projecting himself into conversation with some of the best in his class. 

B: #14, Forward, Munir Grieg ‘27

Coming into high school ranked as one of the four best players in the freshman class nationally is not easy to do. Munir Grieg showed just that in 2024.

Greig, who transferred out of Imhotep Charter prior to the school year to come to Carroll, started off slow to say the least. The freshman struggled to get going through the middle of the Catholic League season, appearing disgruntled at times.

Despite that, the young freshman finally got it going at just the right time for Carroll as he took it down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs. Greig would play some of his best basketball in the state tournament with great performances against Scranton Prep and Allentown Central Catholic. 

“He had to learn to be a high school student and a high school basketball player,” said Bowe. “He had a lot of expectations to live up to, and I couldn’t be any more proud of him. If that was me at his age, I’d crumble under the pressure and feeling. Not only did he embrace it. but he thrived and now you’re seeing it all just kind of like come together. So, he is definitely going to have a scary year next year.”

Greig, who was named a MaxPreps All-American team honorable mention following the season, will be looking to have a breakout year and maintain some high-level play in 2024 as the Patriots look to compete for their first Catholic League title since 1995.

B+: #55, Guard, Nasir Ralls ‘26

Another unsung hero for the Patriots in 2023-24, Ralls was the epitome of a Awiss army knife for Carroll.

After a swing season his freshman year, Ralls took the liberty of joining the starting lineup at the forefront of the season and flourished immediately. The sophomore became the pick-me-up Carroll needed at every turn, drilling a big time three here and playing some hard defense there. The guard was seemingly always in the heat of the action. 

“Nas, man, he has anyone on the team’s back,” said Rusike. “If there is ever an issue on the court, he is always the one that’s going to be there. He is a great guy to be around and such a dog. He has a mentality that a lot of people don’t have and he’s just crazy.”

Even in the face of adversity, Ralls was able to come back and make his presence felt. 

At the beginning of the season, after becoming of regular member of the starting five, Ralls was benched for the first quarter of the team’s game against Abraham Lincoln High School for behavior issues. The young guard was, however, given a shot to come out in the second quarter and from that point on made it difficult for Bowe to put him back on the bench, finishing the day with 25 points. 

For the rest of the season, Ralls kept his head and kept his poise on the court. The young guard finished the year averaging 11.2 points per game while becoming one of the best sharpshooters in the PCL. 

After receiving offers from both Rider and California State Bakersfield in the offseason, the Pats young guard is looking to shine in AAU this summer and again for the Patriots in 2025. 

A-: #1, Guard, Darrell Davis ‘27

At times overshadowed by the high flying talent of Foster and Williams and passed over when he was brought in alongside Munir Grieg prior to the season, Darrell Davis proved to be an X-Factor for the Patriots in 2023. 

A Baltimore native, Davis quickly became the heart and soul of the Patriots offense, fitting in the Coach Bowe’s offensive scheme perfectly. 

“He’s always got a lot of energy,” said Williams. “He’s always playing around. You can’t start with him because he won’t stop. On the court, though, he just does stuff that you’ve never seen before. He’s always battling and doing crazy stuff. You just never know what you’re going to get out of Rel on any given night.”

Davis finished the year averaging 11 points, four rebounds and four assists per game as he took over point guard duties as the season progressed. 

The freshman seemed to be one of the few constants in 2024 for the Patriots, always coming up with a clutch bucket or a steal when the Pats needed it. He also consistently supplied the club with a steady flow of points night in and night out. 

The rising sophomore now holds a Big East offer from Providence going into a second season stacked with expectations. 

C+: #22, Forward, Drew Corrao ‘26

One of the most polarizing names in the PCL last season, Drew Corrao is the epitome of untapped potential. 

The 6’9 forward struggled to come into his frame in 2023-24, often getting bullied by the PCL’s bigger centers. Corrao also had a hard time holding onto the ball and making somewhat rudimentary shots at times. 

However, for all the struggles, there was an equal amount of promising moments. Corrao was able to use his size at times, pulling in 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in 2024. 

“The great Bobby Hurley once said, ‘Big men, take a little while,’” said Bowe. “Drew is this big body getting used to his frame and his body to fight and score and put weight on and keep the weight on. It takes time for big men to develop. He’s developing. He’s going to be a junior now and he’s not going to look like he needs to develop; he’s going to be ready to go. I think for him, being the core of our defense and the core of our offense – he is always the center man down. I know he is excited and he’s ready for the big moment.”

Sophomore Corrao holds offers from Albany and High Point heading into 2024, where he will compete alongside Ralls for the fifth starting spot on the team, a position the two jockeyed for all of last season. 

B: #4, Guard, Chris Kingkiner ‘26

As one of the club’s two swing players, Kingkiner served his role well in 2024. 

The young guard didn’t see too much playing time in the first half of the season while leading the JV club. However, as the season progressed, Kingkiner began to come into his own more and more. 

Kingkiner’s biggest struggle was clear from the jump: as a swing player on JV, the entire team ran through him. This led the rising junior to make reckless shots and force runs to the basket where he never stood a chance. Once Kingkiner fell into his role on varsity, his talent began to seep out as he made his presence felt down the stretch of the season, progressively earning himself more and more playing time. 

“Chris is one of the toughest kids I’ve ever been around,” said Bowe. “A lot of people don’t know this but he was injured a ton this year and I mean it was just freak accidents: from getting hit in the head, getting hit in the eye. He suffers from migraines. He fought through practice with migraines, and so I worry about the times that he got walloped here and there. He just always came to school and came to practice with a smile. This kid had to go to JV practice at eight at night after a tough varsity practice and then play a game the next day. He is what I’d call one of the guys that belongs on a cover of a magazine about toughness.”

2024-25 will be a huge year for Kingkiner as Bowe remarked about the young guard’s poise in possibly coming off the bench regularly for the Patriots.

B: #10, Guard, Mason Murawski

The second of the two JV swing players last season, Murawski is another playing looking to earn a regular bench role in 2024-25.

One of the top options on JV alongside Kingkiner, Murawski showed that he has the talent to regularly compete at the varsity level this season. 

Murawski finished his varsity season averaging just a point a game for the Patriots, though showing up in a big way at times throughout the year. 

“That’s the youngin right there,” said Williams. “He’s special; like, he went through a lot this year not playing varsity or having to start on JV but he just always stayed down and never complained. His opportunity will come and when it does he will be right there, and we’re all so excited about him.”

Murawski will prove to be another name to watch out for in 2024-25 as the bench position battle continues for the Patriots. 


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