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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Downtown Funk on a roll

Funk makes a free throw against George Mason on Feb. 21 (Photo by Luke Malanga ’20).

Taylor Funk breaks the freshman three-point record

Freshman forward Taylor Funk broke a St. Joe’s freshman record when he drained his 72nd three-pointer of the season against Duquesne University on Feb. 17. The record was previously set last season by sophomore forward Charlie Brown, with 71 three-pointers.

Funk is currently ranked 111th amongst all Division I players in total three-point field goals made. He is also ranked 94th in three-point field goal percentage.

“Breaking any record is an accomplishment,” Funk said. “I have to look past it though. It’s on to the next accomplishment.”

Men’s basketball head coach Phil Martelli said that this accomplishment shows Funk’s progression as a player throughout the season.

“This is another step for him,” Martelli said. “His teammates deserve a lot of credit. They’ve recognized what he can do and have given him a lot of opportunities.”

Funk said that his success this season has not come without difficulty. Throughout his transition from high school to college basketball, Funk said he wasn’t performing at a Division I level.

“Over the summer during workouts, I couldn’t guard anybody,” Funk said. “They were all so much quicker than me. I looked at myself and said I don’t even  know if I’m a Division I player. I put a lot of work in to get to where I am.”

However, Funk said it didn’t take long for him to get comfortable on the court when it came to gametime.

“I felt comfortable on the first game of the season,” Funk said. “My teammates and I have a lot of confidence in my shot. They make me feel like I’m at home when I’m shooting.”

Martelli said that he knew Funk would be successful on the floor. He added that Funk’s shot has gone above and beyond his expectations.

“I didn’t expect him to be shooting the ball as well as he was early on in the year,” Martelli said. “He’s been in a little slump since January, but we need him to get back to being a shot maker.”

Funk expressed how his success this season came as a pleasant surprise. He said that he has exceeded his expectations.

“I think I’ve overachieved,” Funk said. “If you were to ask me in the beginning of the season if I was going to break the freshman three point record, I would have said yeah right. But here I am.”

Martelli compared Funk to former Hawk and professional player Pat Carroll, whom he labeled as the best shooter he’s ever coached.

“Funk’s shot is a little bit longer than Carroll’s shot,” Martelli said. “When he misses, it’s because he gets too fast. I want to see how he handles the bounce back. On a technical level, he has a beautiful stroke.”

Funk said that he’s been working on his quick release for quite some time. His father has been instrumental throughout this process.

“Growing up, my shot wasn’t as quick as it is today, “ Funk said. “My dad really helped me with it. We would stand in the driveway and he would get me the ball as quick as possible. It would help me to get the ball out of my hands more efficiently.

Martelli said that he doesn’t want to put a ceiling on Funk. He said that everything depends on how much he’s willing to sacrifice.

“I don’t think any player has a ceiling,” Martelli said. “It depends on how lonely they’re willing to be. In order to be good you have to be lonely. You have to be able to go in the gym and work on your own. As a player, Taylor desires greatness.”

Funk said that the whole team has confidence with the Atlantic 10 Tournament approaching.

“I think we have what we need,” Funk said. “Anyone could win the A-10 right now. Obviously Rhode Island has the advantage over us but they’re beatable. It’s anyone’s game right now.”

Funk and the Hawks close out the regular season in Hagan Arena against conference opponent La Salle University on March 3.


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