By Frank Rizzo
NEWBURGH January 2, 2001 Sixth Man. Super Sub. The first man off the bench has an honored tradition in basketball, and 1996 Tri-Valley CS grad Gary Bradley fits the role for Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) in Newburgh.
In my first two years (at MSMC) there were seniors ahead of me, Bradley, now a senior himself, related. Last year I was getting five or six minutes off the bench. This year Im the first sub in.
Bradley earned kudos from coach Duane Davis after his 12-point, 12-rebound performance against NYC Technical College in the opening round of the MSMC Tournament on December 2.
He excited the crowd, he did a good job, Davis said of his Division III teams 91-60 rout of Tech.
Added the sixth-year coach, I thought Gary could do what hes done this season (in) earlier (years). Hes always been able to jump well. He seems to have more determination this year.
Bradley contributed four points and four rebounds against the Five Towns College in a 77-65 loss in the MSMC Tournament championship game.
Davis said he saw Bradley play three times in high school, and recalls hearing from Bradleys high school coach, Andy Taggart.
Bradley said he was surprised at the talent level in Division III.
Last year was a first for the Blue Knights. After winning the Skyline Conference they earned a first-time trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament, losing in the first round to Scranton University.
I want the team to win the conference again and get back to the NCAAs, Bradley said. We want to go further this year.
In the transition from high school to college, Bradley noted, he needed to improve his shooting and overall strength.
MSMC ended the first semester with a 35 overall record and were 11 in the Skyline Conference.
Bradley leads the team in field goal percentage, making 20-of-26 for a .770 clip. He has scored 45 points for a 7.5 average and has snared 22 rebounds.
The 6-foot-5 Bradley hails from Neversink.