Center John Swords ’15 finished Bowdoin’s 87-74 NESCAC quarterfinal win over Williams with 23 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 33 minutes. He tied a NESCAC tournament record of most shots taken without a miss by going 10-10 from the field. This season, Swords is averaging 12.8 points per game, is third in the conference with 9.9 rebounds per game and second with a shooting percentage of 70.7. Swords, whose shooting percentage benefits from a general affinity for layups, maintained that he attempted an actual jump shot in the game.

“I did take a real shot,” he said. “It was more of a gamble than the usual place or the direct deposit. I don’t really think about that in the game. People told me [I went] 10 for 10 after. I said ‘Oh yeah, I guess so.’”

After comparing his streak to Ethan Embry’s gambling streak in “National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation,” Swords was quick to acknowledge junior teammate Lucas Hausman’s 25-point second half, Hausman’s total of 37 was two points away from breaking the NESCAC tournament scoring record. Swords and Hausman have a good-natured relationship as Bowdoin’s offensive fulcrums; the two scored 60 of Bowdoin’s 87 points in the Williams game and have led the team in scoring since senior forward Keegan Pieri was lost for the season with an injury. This comes despite benefiting from very different offensive schemes—Swords prefers the slower pace while Hausman excels in an up-tempo game. Regardless, Hausman’s emergence has been a large part of the team’s success.

“He scores from everywhere,” Swords said. “This late in the season, teams know I exist, I think. Having me as the first and only offensive option is not going to work. I get scouted.”
And Swords has no problem allowing point guard Bryan Hurley ’15 to dictate the pace of the game.

“Bryan knows the pace,” he said. “If we’re playing a team of five Lucas’ who won’t finish as well as Lucas, he knows to slow us down. But he’ll also make sure we’re not running slow just because I’m slow or running slowly.”

Swords noted that the Williams game was a tale of two halves for the Bowdoin offense. He scored most of his points in the first while Hausman scored most of his in the second. In addition to Hurley, Swords also wanted toacknowledge junior Matt Palecki’s near-double-double and sophomore Neil Fuller’s return to the lineup from injury.

“It’s been a great season,” Swords said, “All that cliché stuff that goes into a [senior] season has been present. My personal forecast was that it wasgoing to be very hard to fill the void left by [Matt] Mathias, [Andrew] Madlinger, and [Grant] White, three really complete players. Pretty quickly this season has turned into something special on its own.”

He also referred to the team’s perseverance through injuries, saying that at times the team has not even had 10 players who could suit up to scrimmage.

Swords has feelings typical of a senior approaching his last few games, but jokingly recognized the positives of being able to move on from basketball.

“I don’t really want it to stop, but I know when it does stop, my body will probably thank me,” he said, then quipping about how his minute total and the up-tempo offense might leave him in a wheelchair. Still, an avid rafter and Outing Club member, Swords does not seem to feel the need to give his body too much rest.

“Post-basketball, I will certainly be spending more time outside. Basketball’s an indoor sport, in a windowless gym. It’s good for the winter,” said Swords.

The sports editor of the Orient chooses the Athlete of the Week based on exemplary performance.

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