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Watching film from early in the season, Tramaine Isabell Jr. sees a player whose mind was somewhere other than the court, thinking about things other than basketball.

The St. Louis University guard struggled in his early days with the Billikens, unable to do the things he accomplished last season at Drexel. But that was only part of the problem as he made the transition to a new team for one season.

Hoping to finish his career with something big, he spent the first two-thirds of his senior year struggling and worrying and hoping.

“It was off-the-court stuff more than anything,” Isabell said on the floor at Barclays Center after SLU won the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament. “I had people giving up on me, a tough breakup, my grandpa about to have heart surgery. I just needed to put my mind somewhere else.

“My mind wasn’t on basketball at the time. I was worried about my girlfriend in Philly, my grandpa, my mom. I watch film and I just wasn’t myself. I wasn’t even into the game. I was thinking about everything else.”

Much has changed for the most outstanding player of the A-10 tournament, who started his career at Mizzou.

His late-season offensive spark was a key element of the Billikens’ ability to reach the NCAA Tournament. His turnaround was the boost they needed at a time when the season appeared to be slipping away.

The unfocused Isabell averaged 11.6 points and shot 36.3 percent while making 24 percent of his 3-point tries in the first 20 games. The new Isabell has averaged 19.8 points and shot 47 percent with 43 percent of his 3-point attempts finding success in the last 12 games.

The A-10 tournament award was well-deserved, especially when considering his average of six assists in the four wins.

Although he scored just nine points in the championship game, Isabell was the 3-point threat SLU needed in the first three games.

“After going to Drexel to show what I can do and coming to the Atlantic 10 and not living up to what I was supposed to do, it was something that was eating at me,” Isabell said. “I didn’t make the all-conference team. I think I snuck up on some teams.”

Isabell’s last trip to New York didn’t go as well.

He helped the Billikens to a win at nearby Seton Hall in November but a few days later was suspended for the first half of a game against Pittsburgh in Brooklyn.

He seemed distant from his teammates that day, not engaging during timeouts. But whatever the infraction, coach Travis Ford never seemed to hold it against Isabell, who started all but two games this season.

“Tramaine Isabell was getting recruited by everybody in America,” Ford said of the graduate transfer. “I told him, ‘You’re going to play on a good team. I’m going to be very, very hard on you. If you don’t want to be coached hard, don’t come here.’

“And boy, he and I have battled a lot of times this year. I told him after the (championship) game, he’s made me a better coach.”

At one point during the conference season, Isabell said he was playing on two sprained ankles, which occurred around the time of the team’s game at Rhode Island. He missed some practice but continued to play.

Isabell actually was close to signing with Xavier when he decided to leave Drexel, for which he averaged 21 points and 7.5 rebounds.

It’s funny how things turn out. Xavier ended up in the National Invitation Tournament and SLU left Tuesday for San Jose, Calif., where the Billikens will play Virginia Tech on Friday night.

“I had a long conversation with (Ford) and he told me he wanted me to trust him and believe in what he was pitching me,” Isabell said. “He told me if I came to St. Louis not only would I be in a terrific program but under a point guard who played at the highest level. That’s a big thing for a small guard like myself to learn from Travis Ford.”

When the A-10 tournament ended, Isabell and Ford were rolling around in a pile of Billiken humanity on the court at Barclays Center, in Brooklyn.

After 30 minutes of celebrating and net cutting, Isabell was wandering around the court. He had surrendered his all-tournament and outstanding player plaques to his brother.

But Isabell still had the piece of net he had snipped wedged behind his ear as a symbol of the team’s accomplishment.

“We didn’t make any excuses,” he said. “And look where we are.”