Former W-H basketball standout Sean Leahy is starting to find his rhythm for UMass Dartmouth.
Sean Leahy couldn’t have scripted a better way to head into the winter break.
In UMass Dartmouth men’s basketball’s final game of the semester, the 6-foot-5, 180-pound freshman forward from Hanson got his second start and erupted for a career-high 17 points in a 90-75 victory over Tufts on Dec. 10.
“He shot the ball well from the perimeter,” UMass Dartmouth head coach Brian Baptiste said.
Leahy connected on five of seven field goals, which included an 80-percent showing (four of five) from beyond the arc. The outing earned him Little East Conference Rookie of the Week honors in men’s basketball.
“It definitely feels good,” Leahy said. “That was a big win as a team and a big win over Tufts, so as a team it felt great and hopefully it will give us some momentum in the second half of the season.”
It’s been a work in progress this winter for Leahy, who’s battling back from two broken wrists. In the Corsairs’ first six games, Leahy averaged just 13 minutes per game, but over their last four outings he’s averaged 31.5 minutes per contest, including back-to-back starts.
“He’s been slowly coming along because of his injuries, and when he comes into the game he’s increased his minutes as the season’s gone on,” Baptiste explained. “He’s just playing better and better as the season moves forward.”
Leahy, a nursing major and the 2017-18 Patriot League Keenan Division MVP, said the adjustment to the college game has been a battle, for sure.
“Everyone up here is a little bit quicker, a little bit stronger, but definitely I now have to think about how I play defense, how you slide,” Leahy said. “It doesn’t come as easy as in high school.”
However, he’s using a few lessons learned at the high school level in his adjustment.
“I would definitely say paying attention to the little details and how you approach drills and how you play,” said Leahy of the lessons learned in high school he’s carried over into the collegiate rank. “And then probably how you play the game and not cutting corners.”
Baptiste said Leahy’s top asset is his understanding of the game.
“He makes smart decisions,” Baptiste said. “He’s added a great deal to the team. He’s got a lot of versatility. He’s a big man, he can shoot from the perimeter, he can handle the ball like a guard, he passes well, he rebounds well, he’s got a big upside.”
Leahy said he’s going to spend a majority of his break in the gym before the 7-4 Corsairs resume play Jan. 3 against Becker.
“I’m looking to get a little stronger so I can hang in the paint with those bigger guys, but that’ll take time,” he said.
Baptiste said he’s looking forward to what the next three and a half years will bring for Leahy.
“I expect him to be an outstanding player for us,” said the coach.