Bates coach Jon Furbush is one of them.

Thanks to his versatility and high basketball IQ, former Edward Little star Quin Leary has earned his way into Furbush’s circle of trust. That means the senior could be frequently called upon in crunch time, even though he will begin most games this season on the bench.

“Quin’s built some trust where I think I could see him finishing some games for us,” Furbush said. “He’s built that up because he can play multiple spots and he just gets it done.”

A 6-foot-3 forward/guard, Leary spent countless hours at his family’s Hoop Camp in Casco over the summer working on ball-handling and shooting to reward his coach’s faith in him. 

He also hopes to build off of a solid junior season that saw his role expand dramatically from his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

After playing in just 17 games total his first two years, he made regular contributions off the bench last year.  In 23 games, he averaged 12.3 minutes, 3.3 points and two rebounds.

But Leary wasn’t able to maintain the kind of consistency he’d hoped to provide, particularly at the offensive end.

“I kind of started off hot and I didn’t finish the season shooting well, so I worked on my shot a lot,” he said. 

At Edward Little, Leary dominated in the post. He’s had to play more on the perimeter at Bates. Furbush thinks he can give opponents a matchup problem with an improved shot.

The Bobcats open their season this Friday, and with a number of their big men nursing injuries, Leary will be seeing more time at the four early in the season.

“He’s somebody that, as a four, can really stretch the floor for us and make shots,” Furbush said. 

Not that he’s forgotten his considerable post skills, which Leary can put to good use when he’s playing the three.

“I’m usually matched up with smaller guards. I might not be able to get by them laterally, but I can use my strength and physicality to move them inside and crash the boards hard,” said Leary, who has been nursing an ankle injury but will be ready to go when the Bobcats play DeSales University on Friday.

“He’s changed his body quite a bit, in the last two years especially,” Furbush said. “He’s gotten a lot quicker laterally. His first step has improved. But the luxury that Quin brings to the table is, when we do get our bigs healthy, he’s a big three. A lot of guys are going to have trouble blocking him out, and he’s still going to have the ability to stretch the floor for us.”

Swinging between the three and four spots has taken some getting used to, but Leary has the tools to adjust.

“I’m pretty comfortable with it,” he said. “It can be kind of hard to know all of the roles and all of the spots to be in for the three and the four, but I’m learning.”

He learns quickly, Furbush said.

“What’s great about him is he adapts very well,” he said. “He could be getting a lot of minutes at both spots for us.”

Wherever he plays, Leary is just looking to do his part and help the Bobcats get back to the NCAA Division III tournament after a one-year absence.

“We have a great group of seniors. I think we all bring something different to the table,” Leary said. “I might not be the most vocal, but I think I like to lead by example. I pride myself on knowing my role and knowing where to be on the floor.”


Check out the 2016-17 Bates College men’s basketball season preview.

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