|Harvard freshman Kyle Casey of Medway slams the ball through the basket early in the season against Georgetown. (Mitchell Layton/Harvard)|
Medway's Casey makes fast impact
It didn’t take long for Kyle Casey to make an impact on the Harvard University men’s basketball program.
The 6-foot-7 freshman forward from Medway was recently honored as the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Year and as the league’s top freshman by Basketball-U and RushTheCourt websites, and the Sporting News. RushTheCourt also honored Casey by naming him as its pick for the Ivy League’s Sixth Man of the Year, although Casey had played himself into a starting role.
The Brimmer & May School graduate was averaging 23 minutes, 10.3 points, and 5.2 rebounds per game and also had 25 blocked shots while shooting 53 percent from the floor (40 percent on threes) for Harvard, which was scheduled to play at Appalachian State in Boone, N.C., last night in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The Crimson (21-7, 10-4 Ivy) had already set a school record for victories while advancing to the postseason for the first time since the 1945-46 season.
“Kyle’s had a tremendous first year as part of a tremendous freshman class,’’ said Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker.
“He’s played very well for us in so many different capacities and we envisioned that from him,’’ Amaker said.
“Aside from his athleticism and talent, Kyle plays with energy, spirit, and passion. Like all freshman, he’s had to make the transition on and off the court, but he’s lived up to his standards and our standards, and he’s improved his focus from play to play and possession to possession.’’
Casey was a four-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week and its Player of the Week one time this season. No other freshman earned top rookie honors more than twice, and when Casey was named the league’s top player following a pair of 20-point efforts last month, he was the first Ivy freshman to earn the citation in more than eight years.
He is the Buzzards Bay school’s career leader in lacrosse goals (165) and points (216), and also holds the program’s record for goals in a season (61) and in a single game (11).
A Pilgrim League All-Star as a member of the academy’s class of 1999, Case was selected to play in the East-West College All-Star lacrosse game, when he scored twice for the East squad.
He also played three seasons on the varsity football squad, and started at wide receiver as a senior. He scored three touchdowns in his final year, including one in a Cranberry Bowl loss (28-16) to Bridgewater State in the season finale.
“I feel very honored and flattered to join the 50 previous hall of famers. The environment at Mass. Maritime and the camaraderie playing sports there meant a lot to me,’’ said Case, a Newton resident who served as an engineer with the merchant marine after graduation and is now a firefighter in Weston.
At Newton North, Case played two years of football and four years of lacrosse and was a member of the high school’s state championship lacrosse team in 1995.
Case was selected to play in the Massachusetts All-Star lacrosse game while in high school and was recipient of Newton North’s Bobby Hayden Lacrosse Scholarship.
Case, who played one year with the Harvard University-based Brine team of the US Club Lacrosse Association, is in the final year of his MBA studies at Northeastern University.
Marvin Pave can be reached at 508-820-4223 or marvin.pave@ rcn.com.