Four McGlynn’s college basketball career has often been about timing, good and bad.
Shortly after McGlynn committed out of high school to Vermont, Catamounts coach Mike Lonergan left to take the job at George Washington.
After leading a 24-12 NCAA tournament team in scoring with 12 points per game despite coming off the bench on the way to being named America East Rookie of the Year, McGlynn decided his role wouldn’t change as a sophomore with both starting guards returning and another transfer coming in.
Since the terms of his scholarship release stated that he couldn’t transfer to George Washington or an America East school, McGlynn headed to Towson, close to his home in York, Pa.
Though his role expanded in his two years with the Tigers, the 6-foot-2 guard thought he could play at a higher level. He signed with Rhode Island, which seemed loaded with guards including star E.C. Matthews.
A season-ending injury to Matthews in the first 10 minutes of the opening game against American led to McGlynn suddenly finding a bigger role with the Rams as a graduate transfer.
“Obviously you don’t want any injury like that ever to happen. He’s a great player and a great person, but my role has definitely changed a bit and my minutes have expanded,” McGlynn said after scoring 18 points in 36 minutes in Tuesday’s 68-60 win over TCU in the Cancun Challenge.
“I think I’ve embraced it and I’m ready for the challenge. Collectively as a team we are, everyone is stepping up and doing a little bit more. Obviously tonight we beat a Big 12 team. That’s huge. … Everyone has embraced me and I feel really comfortable here.”
McGlynn and the Rams were looking forward to playing No. 2 Maryland on Wednesday, even before the Terps were forced to come from behind against Illinois State in what became a 77-66 victory at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
“We came down here to play in the biggest game and win a championship against one of arguably the best teams in the country,” McGlynn said.
Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley, the younger brother of former Duke star and current Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, appreciates what McGlynn has brought to the team in his first four games. McGlynn is averaging 13.0 points per game.
“Once we realized he was a [graduate] transfer, it’s been a missing piece for our team the last couple of years: a knockdown shooter,” Hurley said. “I had seen him as a younger player and tried to recruit him at Wagner, but he really didn’t give us the time of day there.”
With a smile, Hurley added, “I guess he owed it to me to come here and help us and make some jump shots and big free throws.”
That is what happened against the Horned Frogs. With the Rams clinging to a 58-57 lead in the final minute, McGlynn buried a 3-point shot with 45 seconds left and the 30-second clock about to expire, then came back to make a pair of free throws 20 seconds later.
On the 3-point shot, McGlynn said, “It was drawn up for either me or [Hassan Martin]. He was having a great game. If he was open, we were going to give him the ball. I was going to space out and let him go to work. My man stayed a little longer [on Martin] and it got me the open look. You might as well take it.”
Said Hurley, a former point guard himself at Seton Hall, “He’s got a great skill and he’s got a lot of guts. He’s got the nerves of a cat burglar. You run something for him, he’s going to have a great chance to make it for you. He’s a shot-maker. Hass was open, but [Jared Terrell] had so much confidence in Four to step and make that, he bypassed Hass.”
McGlynn, who is taking graduate courses in labor relations and human resources, said that he has not spoken with Towson coach Pat Skerry since he left, but still communicated regularly with members of the team.
“There’s no hard feelings there," McGlynn said. "I talk to Walter Foster, John Davis; I talk with Timajh [Parker-Rivera] almost every day and I wish them them the best and hope they achieve all they hope to this year.”
McGlynn, who averaged a team-high 12 points per game as a junior at Towson, said he was looking past the end of his playing career and was intrigued by what Hurley had to offer at Rhode Island.
“I wanted to play obviously at a bigger program, but also to get into coaching and do some of the things I want to do with my basketball career," McGlynn said. "There are better options for me that I thought were important to seek out and I think I found a very good spot here.”
Ultimately, it goes back to what he started at Vermont and McGlynn hopes he can finish his career as it began.
“I played in the NCAA tournament and ultimately our goal as a team is to win the A-10 and get back to that stage,” he said. “Winning games like this and playing in this kind of environment on this stage, I really look forward to doing it and I know we do as a team.”