As a sophomore, Lucas Hausman ’16 scored 9.5 points per game despite averaging 17 minutes off the bench. This season, his first as a starter, Hausman has proportionally increased his impact, leading the team with 19 points in 31 minutes per game, along with 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

“My job was to be the scoring punch of the bench,” Hausman said. “Now I’m doing that in the starting lineup.”

Hausman has reached double-digit scoring in 13 straight games and scored over 20 points in nine of them. He has scored 30 points twice in his last four games.

“The fascinating thing about Lucas is that he can score from anywhere on the court,” said center John Swords ’15. “Well, except the backcourt. He’s never tried, thankfully.”

The two guard has earned his points with a quick first step, a smooth pull-up jumper and creative finishes around the rim. Hausman has  earned more free throws than anyone else in the NESCAC and has converted nearly 90 percent of them.

“I want to attack whoever’s guarding me and get all the way to the basket,” he said. “I can either pull up or get into the lane and be crafty.”

Hausman’s style of play has changed very little during his time at Bowdoin, though it is clear that he has improved his attacking skills. Hausman stands at 6’3” with long arms, which helps him shoot over smaller defenders and draw fouls. His speed also allows him to blow by bigger defenders.

As his athleticism has improved, Hausman has developed a deeper repertoire of dribble moves that keep defenders honest. Rarely an outside shooter, Hausman is nonetheless shooting almost 50 percent this season, a result of his ability to beat his man for easy baskets and finishes in traffic.

“He throws up a lot [of shots] that, if I didn’t trust him, I wouldn’t call good shots,” Swords said. “But it’s calculated risk. He has a different calculus than the rest of us.”

“He can go and get his own shot at any time,” said point guard and captain Bryan Hurley ’15. “He’s probably one of the only guys on the team who can. You know he can go and get a high-percentage shot for him that isn’t going to be a high-percentage shot for anybody else.”

Hurley added that the team has taken advantage of Hausman’s skill in transition by playing at a more up-tempo pace since the start of the second semester.

Head Coach Tim Gilbride agreed.

“The team is looking to him a little more and creating opportunities that are good for him,” he said. “Teams are starting to key on him more over the course of the season. John was the focus early on.”

Hausman’s play and Sword’s seven-foot frame in the post have made the Polar Bears a difficult team to defend.

“If he gets into the paint and can pass it to John down low or kick it out, it’s huge at the beginning of games because teams won’t be able to collapse on him,” Hurley said.

Hurley, the team’s best three-point shooter, noted that Middlebury was forced to roll its better on-ball defender over to Hausman, which freed up Hurley who scored 17 points. 

Even with the switch, Middlebury still could not stop Hausman from dropping 21 points. His constant presence in the paint forces the post players to collapse off Swords as well, leaving him open under the basket. Hurley also believes that Hausman’s play has reduced the number of double teams Swords has seen.

Swords was not ready to concede that, but acknowledged that because he and Hausman are such different players, the offense can look very different over multiple games or even throughout a game.

“He’s up tempo,” he said. “That’s great when we need up-tempo, especially down the stretch in games. Usually when I’m in we tend toward slow, patient offense. It’s refreshing to have someone like Lucas come in and destroy all of that.”

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

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