Saint Peter's head coach Shaheen Holloway shouts during the second...

Saint Peter's head coach Shaheen Holloway shouts during the second half of a college basketball game against Murray State in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Indianapolis. Credit: AP

Shaheen Holloway is the unlikely star of the NCAA Tournament right now, guiding St. Peter’s through an unlikely run to the Sweet 16 and already rumored to be in line for the Seton Hall job. But his long college resume nearly had an NBA turn in New York 22 years ago.

Holloway injured his ankle while leading Seton Hall to an NCAA victory and went undrafted, but he was invited to the Knicks’ training camp, where he tried to impress the coaching staff — led by Jeff Van Gundy and including Tom Thibodeau. He was cut and never played in the NBA, making a number of stops overseas and in the USBL.

“Yeah, I just remember he had a really good college career, a great competitor,” Thibodeau said. “And he’s done a heck of a job as a coach.  So, real happy for the way his career has gone and the way he’s advanced and has done a good job and has been around a lot of good programs throughout his coaching career.”

Oh . . . now we understand!

Julius Randle shoved Rudy Gobert twice as the final seconds were ticking off the clock. Asked what happened, he replied, “I really don’t know. I was having a conversation with the official at first. When I walked away, they thought there was some confrontation with me and him from the play before. But it wasn’t. It was a little bit too much. It’s fine. Not a big deal.”

Asked again if he was angry at Gobert, he said, “Nah. Not at all. Honestly. I was confused, to be honest. When I walked away, I was confused. That’s why.”

When it was pointed out that he shoved Gobert, he said, “I mean, that was from a previous play. Ref called a foul, came back down, it was what it was.”

Whatever the explanation, it didn’t seem anything like what everyone else saw — including both teams, which had to be separated as they were leaving the floor and security attempted to guide Randle off the court.

March madness for Thibs

While he spends most of his time watching his own team, Thibodeau said he occasionally will tune in to the NCAA Tournament. “It’s an exciting time of year,” he said. “I’ll get an opportunity to watch a little bit here, little bit there. Then when the season’s over, I’ll go back and dig in a lot deeper. It’s fun. It’s an exciting time of year. There’s a lot of great games. The [Knicks’] players, everyone’s needling each other, so it’s fun.

“College has changed with a one-and-done. The way college is now, the mid-majors, there’s a lot of older players, 23, 24, 25, and they’re playing against 18-year-old kids, so anything can happen.”

Finding time for McBride

With Quentin Grimes returning to action Friday, Miles McBride was the casualty of playing time, not getting on the floor at all as the Knicks beat the Wizards. It was the first time in nine games that he did not see any playing time. “We’ll see,” Thibodeau said of the possibility of getting McBride back into the rotation. “I love what Deuce [McBride] has done. We’ll try to figure out how to work that out. He’ll probably be going back and forth. He’s done a really good job. We’ll see how this unfolds.”

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