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Former Colonial Beach star plans to transfer from LaSalle
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By ADAM HIMMELSBACH
Former Colonial Beach basketball star T.T. Carey, who recently completed his freshman season at LaSalle University, said yesterday that he plans to transfer.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard played in 17 games for the Explorers in 2009-10, averaging 2.4 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 9.0 minutes per game. LaSalle went 12-18 overall and 4-12 in the Atlantic 10, finishing next-to-last in the 14-team conference.
Carey said the lack of playing time played a role in his decision but added that he was more frustrated by the lack of a team atmosphere.
"Being a team and communicating with everybody were two big things," Carey said by telephone last night. "And just being together."
Former Colonial Beach coach Steve Swope said he thinks there is a slim chance Carey could still return to LaSalle next season.
A source within the LaSalle program said he was "95 percent sure" Carey would not be back.
Carey's next destination is uncertain, but he said he is considering Longwood, Long Island, and several Division II and III schools.
If Carey transferred to a Division I program he would have to sit out for one season under NCAA rules. But he said that will not affect his decision.
"T.T. was a little frustrated with his playing time as a freshman," Swope said. "And he expressed to me that it wasn't really team-oriented there. He wasn't very close to his teammates and coaches."
Carey was a late-blooming recruit as a senior at Colonial Beach, partly because he was not a fixture on the summer AAU circuit.
But when he guided the Drifters to the Group A, Division 1 state title and was named the state player of the year in 2009, teams from mid-major conferences took notice.
Last July, Carey committed to the Explorers. He played a just five minutes over the Explorers' first 16 games.
"He was a big fish in a little pond here in Colonial Beach, and he loved that," Swope said. "But then he became a little fish in a big pond, and he struggled to adapt."
But a combination of injuries and suspensions created an opening for Carey in February. He started in a game at Richmond, and over one four-game stretch he played 20 minutes per game, averaging 4.8 points and 2.8 rebounds.
"I think I got used to the game," Carey said. "I got stronger and more physical."
Swope said Carey continues to take classes at LaSalle, and added that he is in good academic standing to transfer to a new school.
Carey said he will return to Colonial Beach from Philadelphia next weekend, sit down with Swope and his family and consider his options.
"The stuff I don't see here [at LaSalle]," Carey said, "is what I want to see at other schools."
Adam Himmelsbach: 540/374-5442