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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s Basketball: Lean Jean the Scoring Machine

The weather outside keeps getting colder, but inside the Clark Athletic Center, Ernst Jean is just heating up.

The junior forward is leading the Beacons in scoring at 11.6 points per game since returning to the basketball team midseason. Jean is developing into a solid big man that the Beacons can rely on when they need tough points inside.

Opponents haven’t just felt Jean’s presence on the offensive end, however. The 6’5″ forward has only been in action for nine games due to an academic issue, but is already leading the team in total blocked shots as well.

However, it is his offensive turnaround that has Head Coach Charlie Titus buzzing. “His improved shooting is a product of maturity and experience,” the Beacons coach said, referencing the bump in Jean’s shooting percentages from a year ago. Last season, Jean shot a respectable 43 percent from the field, good for second on the team. But this year, the forward is shooting a robust 51 percent from the floor in addition to a solid 73 percent from the charity stripe.

Jean understands that he has matured into a better scorer, but also credits his improvements to a more cerebral approach on the offensive end. He has realized that in order to score quickly, he has to slow himself down. “I focus more now on how the defender is playing me now,” Jean said. “I also take my time more and try not to rush.”

Against Southern Maine on January 20, Jean’s focus was laser-sharp. The junior had a double-double, pouring in a Beacon season-high 22 points on 8-11 shooting while adding 12 rebounds. He single-handedly almost brought the Beacons back to a win in a tough road environment. “I felt that things were going my way offensively and the guards kept giving me the ball,” Jean said.

Titus continues to lean on Jean night in and night out on the offensive end, as well as on the boards. “Ernst gives us an experienced big who has been through the conference battles,” the coach said. “With him, we have a greater ability to score inside and we certainly are a much better rebounding team.”

Despite leading the team in scoring, Jean doesn’t feel any pressure to speak or be a vocal leader. He simply lets his play in the paint do his talking. “We have other people on the team that we look to for leadership,” the junior from Malden, MA said.

While he may not feel pressure to lead, he does understand that his teammates will look to him for an offensive boost now that he is back in uniform. “I know that my teammates have certain expectations of me,” he said. So far, those expectations have been met and exceeded, and Jean hopes his offensive output can spark the Beacons as they prepare for the LEC playoffs.

But he knows they have work to do if the team is going to shock a higher seed in the tournament. “We need to trust each other more, play through mistakes and go hard for both halves,” Jean said.

Missing games was not something Jean wanted to do, but he’s positive about being back in the lineup once again. “I’m glad to be back with the team, because I enjoy playing with them,” he said. Now that his academic work has been completed, Jean has taken to educating opposing Little East power forwards. As long as class is in session, the Beacons have a chance against anybody in the tough Little East, thanks to the man in the middle.