The Wildcats saw improvements in a multitude of ways from their 5-24 season just one year ago to a first-round playoff exit this month. Perhaps the biggest improvement came from somewhere nobody expected – Sheridan, Wyoming.
Junior guard Sean Sutherlin spent his first two collegiate seasons at Sheridan College. Sutherlin started 32 games a season ago at Sheridan averaging 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists while helping his team to the junior college national tournament.
Since transferring to UNH Sutherlin has proven he can produce in big-time moments against big-time players and is much more than a junior college talent. The junior put up 12.8 points per game with 9.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Sutherlin has also helped transform a team that improved by 10 wins in a matter of one season. The Wildcats ranked last in the America East in total rebounds in the 2018-2019 season. Since that time the team has launched themselves to the top of the conference, finishing second in total rebounds and being the only team in the conference to eclipse 40 rebounds per game.
Sutherlin’s 260 rebounds not only led all guards but led the entire America East – 27 rebounds ahead of the second-place finisher. His 9.3 boards per game ranked second in the conference and was nearly two more than the third-place spot.
The point guard led the Wildcats with 12 double-doubles on the season and still has room to improve his offensive game. He got to the rim at will this season while he struggled playing away from the hoop. In the backend of their schedule, however, Sutherlin and the rest of the team seemed much more comfortable with the guard from behind the 3-point line. During UNH’s four-game win-streak at the end of the season Sutherlin shot 4-for-6 from behind the arc.
Head coach Bill Herrion has been adamant in mentioning how much time Sutherlin has spent working on his jumper this season. The guard has been described as a “gym rat” many times throughout the season by his head coach.
Sutherlin was impressive during his first season in Herrion’s system, but with one more year of experience and an expanded offensive game, he will certainly be a player to watch during next season’s title pursuit for the Wildcats.