Pine-Richland graduate Petcash carves out role with Boston University
About this time two years ago, Andrew Petcash was leading the Pine-Richland boys basketball team to a WPIAL Class 6A title and a PIAA Class 6A championship-game appearance.
Since then, the former point guard has settled in at Boston University, transitioning into a different type of player in a different type of offense.
On Feb. 16, the 6-foot-4 Petcash received validation for his hard work. He earned his first collegiate start, something he said he had been striving for from the moment he set foot on campus.
“It felt awesome,” Petcash said.
“Coach (Joe) Jones always told me to keep working, be ready and your time is going to come. I always believed in myself, and I knew eventually I would get to that point, so it was good to see it happen.”
Unfortunately, Petcash’s first start came in a 84-79 loss. He totaled 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 25 minutes, parlaying his performance into another start in the next game against Holy Cross.
Petcash has started to solidify his role as a floor-spacer in an offense that prioritizes ball movement and balanced scoring.
In Boston University’s past seven games, Petcash has earned 20 minutes or more of playing time in four of them. In each of those four games where has played 20 minutes, Petcash has hit three 3-pointers.
While Petcash’s niche for the Terriers (12-16, 5-10 Patriot League) is a far cry from his do-it-all responsibilities at Pine-Richland — where he averaged 20 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists — he remains a key cog.
Petcash ranks third on the team with 30 3s and second in 3-point percentage (42.9). He is averaging 4.8 points in 13.5 minutes.
Becoming a role player was tough at first, Petcash said. He had to learn how to play without the ball, but once he did, opportunities for playing time opened up.
“One of the things that we needed here is a little more shooting, because we have a lot of guys that are good at getting to the hoop and driving the paint,” he said. “So I kind of put that upon myself, and the coaches emphasize it a lot for me to be that guy.
“So that’s how I’ve fit into the offense. In college, you have a lot less time to get a shot off with a defender around you. That was something else that made the transition to college ball difficult. I’m always working on making my release quicker and quicker, though. And I think this year, I’ve adjusted better to the speed of the game, and now I feel like I can get my shot off whenever I want.”
Boston is entering its home stretch, with the conference tournament set to start March 5. The winner earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
“We got as good a shot as anybody to win it,” Petcash said. “I can’t wait to see what happens.”
Kevin Lohman is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.