Senior Sean Duffy laced up for his final regular season home game at Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym in the men’s basketball senior night against Massachusetts Institute of Technology yesterday. The senior posted 12 points and six rebounds in a 67–49 loss to the Engineers.
Duffy is a senior communication studies major who has been playing on the men’s basketball team since he was a freshman.
“It has been a phenomenal experience,” Duffy said, “something I never really expected to happen, and I'm just so fortunate that I came to Emerson College.”
During the forward’s freshman year, his squad finished its season at an above average record of 15–12, in the school’s last year in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. Duffy played in 18 out of 27 games, but was very limited when he touched court. He averaged about seven minutes on the floor, but the young freshman said he knew he would have his chance eventually.
“He's far beyond what I thought he was going to be when I first started recruiting him,” associate head coach Jack Barrett said. “I always thought he was a good player and that he was skilled and he was versatile. The hard work that he's put in has just showed so much.”
Duffy was born in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, and when Barrett was recruiting, he said was looking for big men with versatility. Duffy, at 6-foot-4, has good ball-handling skills and can also shoot, Barrett said.
Since he began his career, Duffy has improved, according to his coaches, and is now averaging over 18 minutes per game.
Notable performances this year include a 20-point performance at Pine Manor College, 15 against University of Massachusetts Boston, and when he tallied a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds in a comeback win against New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference competitor Springfield College.
The senior has broken out of many bad habits since his freshman year, according to head coach Bill Curley, who was an associate head coach in the 2012-2013 season.
“He liked to dribble between his legs every time he touched the ball,” Curley said.
Since then, a lot has changed.
“He’s physically gotten stronger and he's embraced being on the post a little more,” Curley said. “He's stopped all his silly dribbles.”
According to Curley, the best part about Duffy’s game is his versatility. Because Duffy has been an important part of the program for the past four years, according to Curley and Barrett, many of the younger players look to him for advice.
“He definitely helps out with, specifically, the two seven-foot freshmen,” Barrett said. “He's done a great job taking them under his wing.”
Duffy said he has had many great moments in his four years here, from receiving his “scented oil massages” after he hurt his ankle last season, to a last-minute win against Clark University this year, but his favorite moment was when the team beat no. 1-ranked Amherst College in the 2013–2014 season.
“It was just a total team effort and I remember just celebrating with the guys in the locker room, jumping up and down and having a blast,” Duffy said.
When Duffy graduates, he said he would like to go into sales or marketing with one of the local professional sports teams, but for now he said he is focused on enjoying the rest of his final year at Emerson.
The senior has one regular season game left against Wheaton College on Feb. 20.