The Former USD Standout Will be Trading his Surfboard for a Snowboard
Surprise summer news dump! While thereâ€™s been no official announcement from the school or media outlets, itâ€™s all but confirmed that former University of San Diego guard, Finn Sullivan has transferred to Vermont. Itâ€™s unclear why there has yet to be an official announcement, but the soon-to-be
senior junior should be a great veteran addition to John Beckerâ€™s squad.
Before word got out that Sullivan would be joining the Cats this year, Vermontâ€™s roster was already overflowing with 18 players currently committed. With Sullivan in tow that number has now ballooned up to 19. Is Coach Becker planning on deploying a platoon system this year? One reputable local source has indicated that a current walk-on will be leaving the team to focus on life outside of basketball, though that still leaves 18 players competing for what is likely to be a 9-10 man rotation. Luckily thereâ€™s still plenty of time for Coach Becker and his staff to sort out roles and playing time before the season tips off.
As an upperclassman and proven contributor, Sullivan likely has a leg up in earning a spot in Coach Beckerâ€™s rotation, but Vermont has been hit-or-miss as late with their transfers so Sullivan will have to work every minute of floor time. Thatâ€™s not a knock on Sullivan by any means, as the 6â€™4â€™â€™ guard is more than capable of becoming a solid contributor for the Cats. The west coast native started all but one game a season ago for the Toreros and has played in 74 games thus far throughout his career. While his statline wonâ€™t jump off the page at you, Sullivan has managed a respectable 6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists a game for his career.
(2018-19): 32 games played, 16.4 minutes, 4.1 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 33% 3PT
(2019-20): 28 games played, 23.5 minutes, 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 27% 3PT
(2020-21): 14 games played, 27.2 minutes, 6.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 37% 3PT
Sullivan was a solid, dependable player for San Diego during his tenure. One possible red flag to note from these statistics is Sullivanâ€™s regression from beyond the arc during his sophomore campaign. Are his long-range shooting woes behind him? Sullivan did bounce back in big way the following year by inflating that percentage up to 37%, but considering that last years season only ran 14 games itâ€™s hard to tell if that small sample size could carry throughout an entire year.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Thereâ€™s not an abundance of available tape from Sullivanâ€™s time at San Diego, but I highly encourage you to parse his highlights against number one ranked Gonzaga just a season ago. Sullivan would finish with 16 points and 6 assists in that one.
>Strengths â€“ Sneaky athletic. Strong explosiveness and quick twitch muscles. Solid length for a guard. Great vision and passing ability. Can contribute in every aspect of the game. Solid perimeter shooter. Handles the ball well. Great glue guy. Looks like Kurt Rambis.
Weaknesses â€“ Good at everything, great at nothing. Lacks strength to take on bigger wing players. Can play out of control at times. Statline wonâ€™t â€˜wowâ€™ you. Has likely reached his ceiling.
Sullivans fit at Vermont
To be completely honest I donâ€™t love the addition of Sullivan to this Cats team, but I also donâ€™t hate it. Sullivan is similarly comparable to Bailey Patella in many ways. Both players are incredibly hard-working and fill up the stat sheet by doing a little bit of everything â€“ and throw in all the work they do that doesnâ€™t show up stat sheet (hustling for loose balls, drawing charges). I canâ€™t say for certain that a team full of Patellas and Sullivans would win every game, but itâ€™d be damn fun to watch.
Obviously having another Patella-esque player on the Cats is always welcome, but the reason I donâ€™t love this addition is that Sullivan joins an already overly crowded backcourt. Starters Ben Shungu and Mazzulla return for another year, as do Robin Duncan, Aaron Deloney and Eric Beckett who are all trying to earn minutes. Kam Gibson just transferred over as well and surely has to be accounted for. Then thereâ€™s the two incoming freshmen of Sam Alamutu and Evan Guillory and the three walk-ons in Kevin Garrison, Deng Adiang and Michel Ndayishimiye. How the hell does Sullivan fit into that equation?
Due to his length and athleticism there is a possibility that Sullivan plays more as a wing than a guard. However, his lack of strength could cause some issues when trying to defend against bigger wing players. Beckett and Alamutu are also slightly bigger guards and could find themselves out on the wing as well from time to time to help alleviate the abundance of guards. Sullivan has likely reached his potential and will likely never lead the Cats in scoring or rebounds, but the west-coast native wasnâ€™t brought in to be that type of guy. Sullivanâ€™s work ethic, dependability and leadership are whatâ€™s going to impact this team more than anything else, which frankly might be exactly what the Cats need. Welcome aboard Finn Sullivan.
*Unrelated news â€“ as youâ€™ve likely noticed, there hasnâ€™t been much content coming out of From the Parking Lot as of late. Thereâ€™s a number of reasons for this, but more so than any of them Iâ€™ve been enjoying the summer catching waves and working on my bronze. I promise there will be more content in the coming weeks, such as diving into upcoming season projections and a look at the few 2022 recruits UVM as already extended scholarship offers too. As a teaser my first bold prediction of the year is that freshman guard Sam Alamutu becomes a starter by the end of the year. Stay tuned.