All of a sudden, Lamonte Bearden may be the face of UB Basketball as a sophomore. He didn't like the world on fire scoring last season, but is plenty capable to handle point guard duties and will help this team build chemistry more quickly than maybe you'd expect
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Height and Weight: 6-3, 160
Let's do a player comparison:
You've got to figure one is Bearden, but the other?
Player A is Shannon Evans' freshman season. Player B is Bearden's freshman season.
A borderline four-star recruit by some services, Bearden played immediately, starting in 31 games, scoring eight points, upwards of four assists, and a steal per game. For our money, he was the most impressive freshman in the conference, but points are more sexy apparently, so postseason recognition went to Sean Sellers of Ball State.
Though Lamonte doesn't bring the best scoring touch, he did outscore Shannon Evan's freshman OOC numbers and averaged double digits over UB's final six games. For the bulk of the season he was consistently good for a half-dozen points while generating three or more assists in 25 games.
Further Reading and Viewing:
Lamonte's freshman numbers match up with some of the best in the conference in their respective freshman seasons, and there's no doubt of the sophomore's role. He'll lead the charge of the Bulls offense, playing upwards of 30 minutes a night. Much like Jarryn Skeete, I think his production tops double digits simply of necessity, but hopefully it does so with increased efficiency, as well.
It will be interesting to watch Bearden's reaction to the role change from last season; instead of a 1A situation, he's the undisputed point man for the team. There's always a chance that a little bit of increased attention from defenses throws him off, but I don't think that's likely. I also kind of expect Jarryn Skeete or Rodell Wigginton to take on the leadership mantle for the group, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Bearden lead the charge.