Thomas Bruce - 12 Sports Athlete of the Week - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Thomas Bruce - 12 Sports Athlete of the Week

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VESTAL (WBNG) -- Maryland's DeMatha Catholic High School annually boasts one of the top varsity basketball programs in the country. Now one former Stag is a stud at Binghamton University. He's Thomas Bruce, and he's 12 Sports Athlete of the Week.

"He's a force to be reckoned with," junior guard J.C. Show said.

"Now he's starting to take the talent and realize his potential," Binghamton men's basketball head coach Tommy Dempsey added.

It may be early in the season, but the Washington, D.C. native has quickly cast an almighty presence down low for the Bearcats.

"I just try to tell myself that you can be really good if you are confident in what you do, so just be confident in yourself, and it will take care of itself," Bruce explained at the Events Center Monday.

That confidence has helped Bruce take flight in his third year under Dempsey, who's currently in his sixth season as head coach.

"He's continuing to gain confidence, and I don't even think he's scratched the surface," Dempsey said.

Through seven games, here's what the surface looks like for the 6-foot-9 center:

  • Three double-doubles.
    • "His athleticism is second to none out there on the court," Show said.
  • Ranked nationally in blocked shots with more than three per game.
    • "I take great pride in my defense," Bruce said.
    • "He blocks so many shots, and he doesn't get enough credit," Show added.
  • Plus, the Dematha alum set a new program record, going a perfect 10-for-10 from the field, scoring a team-high 23 in the Bearcats drubbing of Hartwick.
    • "I definitely feel honored in being able to do that," Bruce said on breaking a the record.

Not missing a single field goal in Sunday's victory is a direct result of the junior center becoming more patient.

"A lot of people tend to rush a lot and think moving fast is definitely the key, but patience has definitely been one of the things I've tried to work on the most," Bruce said.

"He now has to be considered amongst the top centers in our league," said Dempsey. "Can he be the best center in the league this year? That's the goal."

"I definitely want to be defensive player of the year," added Bruce. "I feel like that's definitely something I can achieve."

Bruce and the Bearcats (3-4) now have a chance to win their third straight game when they hit the road Wednesday night to take on Delaware State (2-5) with tip-off slated for 8 p.m.

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