By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)
Joey Flannery considers it a privilege to be a part of the Babson College men’s basketball team.
The three-time New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Player of the Year has the Beavers yet again in position to make a deep postseason run. Flannery is averaging a team-high 22.7 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per games, too.
Last Saturday, he guided the Green and White to their best start in program history as Babson improved to 16-1 overall with a 15-point victory over Coast Guard Academy.
Last night, Flannery and the Beavers extended their current winning streak to eight games as Babson topped Clark, 90-81, to improve to 17-1 overall and 7-0 in league play.
Prior to last night’s contest against the Cougars, Noontime Sports caught up with Flannery to discuss his final season with the Green and White, what he plans to do after graduation and who is all-time favorite Boston Celtics player is, too.
Your team established the program’s best start this past weekend, winning 16 of 17 games. What does that record mean to you?
“It’s great to be recognized. We try not to look too much into the numbers or record because our focus is to take it one day at a time. It is nice to be recognized, especially as a member of this great program.”
Your team matched a school-record for three-pointers (18) last weekend against Coast Guard Academy. How have you and your teammates been able to be so successful beyond the arc this season?
“Nick Comenale has helped our offense move the ball around on extremely well. We have guys, including him, in our starting five that are willing to shoot three’s, but the big thing for our offense (this season) is we’re moving the ball around knowing if we have a good shot that we’ll get an even better shot with a few more passes. Against Coast Guard, our shots were falling early, but I think our ball movement was the key for us beyond the arc. If we continue to swing it around once or twice and get two reversals then our team can shoot with confidence.”
Who is the best three-point shooter on the team?
“I would have to say Nick. We always go back-and-forth in practice on who is sinking deeper shots, but it is hands down Nick.”
What have been one or two (or perhaps three) memories you have from being a member of the Babson men’s basketball program?
“There is always a moment (or two) that stands out from each season. During my sophomore year we had some great comeback wins, while another memory would be winning the NEWMAC Tournament at home the past two seasons. Additionally, we have had a great home court advantage (during my time at Babson) and having home court advantage up until the ‘Final Four’ two years ago was awesome. Winning in front of our home crowd has been fun (especially when we beat Trinity in the NCAA Sectional Finals). Those are just some big moments (from my time here as a student-athlete), but this team is so tight, we have a lot of seniors and juniors that have been together for a while, so I think hanging out off the court and being together is another great memory of mine.”
Last week, your team rallied to defeat MIT on the road, thanks to a 54-point second half effort. Was that the biggest second half rally you have ever been a part of?
“I have been a part of some big rallies over the past four years here at Babson. During my sophomore year, we had to rally back in a few games when we trailed by 15 (or more points). One of those games we rallied back to win was against Becker (my sophomore year). We have been down at half before, but we have a lot of experience from the past couple of years and even when we were down against MIT, we still had confidence and that togetherness allowed us to come out of the locker room with a positive mindset, knowing the game wasn’t over. After eight or ten minutes, we were still trailing, but that was when we turned it on and went on a run to win the game. We locked in, got stops, moved the ball offensively and got some good looks, so I think the game (as a whole) is a testament to us being unselfish and not panicking. We were down by 15 points, we didn’t take too many quick shots on offense, but we just pushed the tempo and got looks every time we went on offense.”
What is your major and what do you hope to do with it?
“I am concentrating on economics, but at the moment I am still deciding what direction I want this degree to take me. I really hope to remain involved with basketball after graduation, so being a coach is something that interests me currently, but it’s an exciting feeling to know I will have a degree from Babson.”
What would your dream basketball job be?
“I would love to coach in college and eventually elevate myself to the professional position. My dream job would be in player development because I love picking apart details, both on and off the court and through workouts. If I don’t end up coaching, then I would be fine with being a behind the scenes guy, specifically working in a player development role.”
Being a Massachusetts native, I presume you are a Boston Celtics fan, so who is your all-time favorite Celtic player?
“Everyone is a Larry Bird fan here in Massachusetts. I was unable to watch him (compete), but he is definitely at the top of my list (of all-time great Celtics). I would have to say my favorite Celtic was Paul Pierce. He was always the player I watched growing up and to see him lead the Celtics to a NBA championship in 2008 was very exciting. Even though I don’t have all the shots that he took, I try to take what I can from his game and apply it to my game as a small forward.”
Finally, what’s the best part about being a member of the Babson community, both as a student and student-athlete?
“It has to be the friendships I have made (over the past few years). Not just the friendships with my teammates, but various members of the campus’ community and other student-athletes, too. I have so many close friends here that I know I will stay in-touch with forever. The bonds we have established is one of the many things I love about this community.”