The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Saint Joseph's forward Pat Calathes may be one of the 60 players selected in the NBA Draft this June.

Whether it be the Atlantic 10, Big 5, Sonny Hill League or Portsmouth Invitational, Mark Tyndale and Pat Calathes have always been in the same league. This upcoming year, they're hoping to make it to just one more together.

Tyndale and Calathes, seniors at Temple and Saint Joseph's, respectively, are starting their bids to play on the ultimate level in October.

"There's no getting around it - I definitely want to play in the NBA - nothing more, nothing less," Tyndale said.

Sixty players will be selected in the NBA Draft this June, and if the Big 5 Co-Players of the Year don't hear their names called, they will try to earn a roster spot as undrafted rookies.

The road to playing professionally started with Portsmouth - an invitational for 64 of the best seniors in the country - last week. Tyndale and Calathes, already familiar with each other, bonded during the three days.

"Over this past weekend we got real, real close," Tyndale said. "We flew down together, we were roommates together and we flew home together, so we had a lot of time to talk and get to know each other. We really built a relationship."

Tyndale and Calathes both played on the eight-man Tidewater Sealants, who coasted to a 3-0 record and the championship.

But that wasn't the only award each took home. Calathes was one of 12 players to make the All-Tournament team, and Tyndale earned the Allen Iverson Most Inspirational Player Award.

"He and I play off of each other, and I think that helped us [win] the tournament," Calathes said.

Calathes was 13th in scoring and seventh in rebounding out of the 64 participants.

Tyndale was second in assists, 15th in field-goal percentage and tied for fifth in both steals and blocks. In the championship game, the former Owl had seven points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four steals and two blocks.

"From what I hear from my agent, it definitely helped me playing in that tournament," Calathes said.

"I just went down there and played hard - hard-nosed defense, did all the little things I came down there to do," Tyndale said. "I was scrapping and just playing my game."

Maybe the two players meshed so well because they are so different. Calathes is a 6-foot-10 forward who plays like a guard; he hangs around the perimeter and shoots threes. The 6-foot-5 Tyndale is an off-guard, but plays big, throwing himself for rebounds. Calathes is a shooter, while Tyndale is a good defender and rebounder, as well as a scorer.

Each must significantly improve certain areas in order to make it in the NBA.

"In order to play at the highest level, [Calathes] has to become a more committed defender," Hawks coach Phil Martelli said. "I think he has to become a better athlete, stronger, quicker, faster and more agile."

Martelli knows what he's talking about: Two players from his 2003-04 team (Jameer Nelson and Delonte West) were taken in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft.

Martelli advised Calathes to improve his defense by playing one-on-one against better athletes.

The coach has also taught him to practice harder and shorter, to, "rather than be in there wasting time, be more directed and more focused."

Yesterday, Calathes started to take another approach to improve his athleticism and defense.

"I'm doing some flexibility stuff, I'm going to start getting into some yoga," he said on Tuesday, waiting to start the new type of training until after Portsmouth.

Meanwhile, Tyndale has one thing on his mind.

"Just my outside shooting, that's it," Tyndale said. "[I'm working on] set shooting, shooting off the dribble, coming off of screens, just a lot of stuff I have to be able to do at the next level. I have to be able to knock down an open jump shot."

If they are not picked in June, their careers won't be over. Both are willing to play abroad, and Calathes was even assured he would receive contracts upward of $300,000 to play overseas. Still, their eyes are on one thing for now.

"It's pretty much everybody's goal to go to the NBA first and it's definitely [mine]," Calathes said.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.