As we talked to people around the Atlantic 10 Conference about their top players, one name that came up consistently was 6'0" Temple Owls guard Kristen McCarthy.
Coincidentally, McCarthy's performance that game is apparently at the center of the NCAA's investigation into former Eastern Michigan coach AnnMarie Gilbert - McCarthy could not be stopped by the Eagles, which ended up triggering a chain of events that her opponents never forgot. Later that year, McCarthy scored 42 points in a game and it cemented her place in program history as well - it still stands as the program's single game record.
Two seasons later, McCarthy is graduating having made an impression on opponents for more than tangential controversial circumstances. She's ninth in rebounding in Temple history in rebounding (713) and fourth all-time in scoring (1619), finishing her career only 80 points behind WNBA All Star Candice Dupree.
McCarthy is now hoping to continue her basketball career in the WNBA and was gracious enough to give us the opportunity to interview her and tell us a little more about her game than the statistics could tell us.
Swish Appeal: People around A10 think very highly of you. What do you imagine helped you make such an impression?
Kristen McCarthy: My work ethic, personality and the way I play the game with pride and passion coupled with my skills have earned a lot of respect with people around the A10. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from opposing coaches and players, which means a lot to me.
SA: Are there any specific ways that you feel you improved while at Temple?
KM: My biggest improvement has been mental toughness. I have learned especially this year when to be more assertive and take over games. Things in the game do not always go the way you want it to, but you must stay positive and focused.
SA: Just looking at your statistics, one thing that stands out is that your field goal percentage wasn't quite as high as some other more prominent prospects. How might you explain that to someone who had reservations about drafting you?
KM: Although I can improve upon my field goal percentage, it does not say who I am as a player. I look to try to do other things and fill the stat sheet in other ways, but with that being said, I will continue to work on my field goal percentage.
SA: A lot of times the statistics don't tell the whole story of a player's ability. One thing that stands out in some of your performances is that you score in waves. Is there anything else about your game that we might not be able to learn from numbers alone?
KM: Many people say that I am a hard worker and I give my all every second that I play. I have a lot of potential and I am very versatile. I do all of the little things such as hustle plays that do not show up in the stat sheet. I am a tough well rounded player, who can pose match-up problems because of my size.
SA: Sometimes analysts say that a player's game is better suited for the pros than college. Is there anything about your college performance that might lead you to believe you could actually be more suited for the pro game?
KM: I am positive that I am suited for the pro game. I am a 6'0" guard which is very advantageous and people say that my strength, athleticism and muscular build would translate to the pro game as well. I can great my own shot. Along with my God given physical tools such as my height and my work ethic, I feel my potential is great. Life is about opportunities and taking advantage of them, and when I get my opportunity I will take full advantage of it.
SA: Who would you compare your game to?
KM: Tamika Catchings. I feel that she is a very hard worker and she does all of the little things, she is not always the leading scorer, but her team does look to her especially in tight situations when they need a basket, or even if they need a rebound or whatever big play that they need she is there to make that play. She has a well developed all around game and is well respected. Even off of the court she is a great role model and very active in the community which is something that I enjoy being involved as well.