Senior Day Spotlight: Paul Mulcahy
In this Senior Day Spotlight, The Daily Targum highlights the University's athletes who are being honored at senior day and have made an impact for their respective teams.
Senior guard Paul Mulcahy was honored on Sunday during the Rutgers men's basketball team's Senior Day game against Northwestern.
Mulcahy has played for the Scarlet Knights (18-13, 10-10) for the last four years, and Rutgers has never suffered a losing record with him on the roster.
"I knew he was a winner. Then, I found out what a worker he was and what a good teammate he is," said head coach Steve Pikiell. "He's tough, and I am real proud of him."
The three-star combo guard recruit from Bayonne, New Jersey, is considered the first big New Jersey recruit Pikiell got to commit to the Knights.
"I think maybe 10 to 15 years from now, I'll be able to appreciate it more because there wasn't a New Jersey kid that came here," Mulcahy said. "I was the only New Jersey kid that was recruited by this program for four years that decided to come here … I believed in myself. I believed in this program before there was anything to believe in."
Mulcahy had an extremely successful high school career at Gill St. Bernard's High School. In his senior year, he averaged a triple-double.
Mulcahy has been a true team player during his time on the Banks. He has always stepped into the role Pikiell has asked him to play with ease. His selflessness is evidenced by his play, where he has become a pass-first point guard.
In his freshman season, Mulcahy came off the bench as the backup point guard for all 31 games. He eventually ended the season second on the team with 61 assists.
In his sophomore season, Mulcahy started 21 out of 28 games and slightly increased all of his statistics. He was once again second on the team with 81 assists on the season. Rutgers also gave him the Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award for the team.
Junior year was a big breakout year for Mulcahy, as his 111 assists in conference play led the Big Ten. On the season, Mulcahy averaged 5.3 assists per game (APG), the highest number APG from a team member since the 1984-1985 season. He also averaged career-highs in points per game, APG and rebounds per game.
He ended the season as a 2021-22 Big Ten Honorable Mention and 2020-21 Academic All-Big Ten. Off the court, Mulcahy started the Grateful4 Foundation, meant to inspire others to prioritize gratitude.
In his senior year, Mulcahy has been one of the Knights' biggest leaders. He has battled through injury, missing four games earlier in the season due to a shoulder injury. He has been a key factor in many of Rutgers' biggest upset wins, including this year against Purdue, where he scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out six assists, stole the ball four times and had zero turnovers.
Currently, Mulcahy sits fourth all-time in program history in assists.
Due to the NCAA extra year of eligibility for athletes who played during the pandemic, Mulcahy could choose to return for another year on the Banks. When asked about his future, he did not seem to know his decision yet.
"I'm trying to be in the moment as much as possible," Mulcahy said. "I don't even know what today's day is."
From winning 20 games in his freshman season, winning an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in 38 years as a sophomore, defeating four ranked opponents in a row and making the NCAA Tournament for a second-straight year as a junior and beating the number one ranked team as a junior and senior, Mulcahy has led the team to many distinguishable moments during his time in the Knights uniform. When asked what his favorite memory in his Rutgers career so far is, Mulcahy said he is directed toward the future.
"I think the best moment that we are going to have, I don't think it has happened yet," Mulcahy said.
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