Sullivan shooting the lights out for Hoopcats

Transfer guard from San Diego finding his stroke
Transfer guard from San Diego finding his stroke
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 9:49 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont men’s basketball program is a group that traditionally prides itself on defense. But while holding almost every team they have played this year under 70 points is impressive, it only means so much if the shots aren’t falling on the other end.

“We knew we were a good shooting team so shooting percentage in our nonconference play didn’t really kinda tell how good we could really shoot it,” said sixth-year guard Benny Shungu.

Lately though, that has been no problem at all.

“We’ve been playing well all year,” said head coach John Becker. “And now to combine that with some shot making, it’s been really fun to see.”

The Cats have caught fire shooting the basketball, with a 6′4″ guard from San Diego doing much of the damage.

“I definitely have a rhythm right now, we all have a rhythm,” said transfer guard Finn Sullivan. “The past two games have been super good so we just gotta keep it up.”

Sullivan is a senior in college, but after graduating from Torrey Pines High School, he spent his first three seasons of college hoops playing for the USD Toreros out in the WCC. This is really his first time away from home.

“Kinda reminds me like my freshman year,” Sullivan said. “Just kinda getting to learn all the teams and their players and stuff and their tendencies. But different than my freshman year, I have more experience already so it’s definitely like a new perspective and I like it a lot.”

And who knows, Southern California kid, coming to Vermont...maybe he needed to adjust to the weather.

“It was pretty tough,” Sullivan said. “Like when that wind starts to go...I like it when it’s like not windy and it’s just kinda like calm, but when that wind starts going and the snow starts coming down, it’s like super crazy. Something I’ve never experienced before.”

But in any event, it’d be hard to argue Sullivan hasn’t found his stroke. He poured in four triples in UVM’s record setting 19-three performance against Stony Brook on the 12th, followed it up with six more from distance in a rout of UMBC en route to America East Player of the Week honors, then went a perfect six for six from deep at NJIT last Wednesday. His fellow Catamounts can’t overstate just how huge Sullivan’s emergence is for their league title hopes.

“He’s obviously really, really talented and he can really shoot the ball,” Shungu said. “And so he’s still kind of coming out of his shell, and when he plays like that, you know, we all kinda get going.”

“Finn, you know it takes a while to get used to our system and he’s obviously been our starting point guard for all year,” Becker added. “I thought in the UMBC game, I told him this, that he looked like a Vermont basketball player from start to finish.”

And for any other recruits from warm weather climates who might hesitate when they hear the name Vermont, Sullivan has a message.

“I’d say just do it, because it’s worth it because the program is so good and this basketball team is such a fun thing to be a part of,” Sullivan said. “Even though it’s cold, it’s definitely worth it.”

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