Player Profile: Candon Rusin

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Candon Rusin isn’t your typical Vermont basketball player.

For starters, he scored 2,000 points in his high school career with only three of those four years spent at local Twin Valley high school. Scoring 1,000 in four years of lax Vermont competition is widely celebrated across the Green Mountain state.

Rather than embracing the ginormous fish in a small pond mentality, the Wilmington resident took his abilities to North Carolina for his senior season where he accomplished the 2,000 point milestone. From there, he was recruited to play at Marist Academy in Poughkeepsie New York.

As a first-year Rusin led the team in scoring and impressed with his shooting stroke, knocking down 43 percent of his shots from downtown. Despite his individual success the team saw little in the win-loss department and his journey came full circle when he enrolled at the University.

When asked how he enjoyed first two years at Marist, Candon responded, “Marist was a great school, a little different than what I’m used to, a little closer to the city and whatnot … just felt like it was time for me to move on from Marist and decided to come here.”

Due to transfer regulations, Catamount fans were unable to see the 6-4 guard in his first year back in Vermont.

     On the subject of last year’s American East championship game against Stony Brook Rusin said “after watching the guys play Stony Brook last year in the championship, those are the games I was like man I wish I could play.”

His restlessness to play didn’t stop him from striving to improve. That diligence came to light when he dropped 25 points in front of a roaring Patrick Gymnasium in a rematch against Stony Brook this season. The Catamounts defended their home court with a 81-73 victory.

Rusin’s style of play has been particularly important in helping to fill the void left by freshman phenom Four McGlynn, who transferred to Towson this year. Rusin has developed into a consistent scoring threat and reliable outside shooter in John Becker’s flex offense.

But the return to Vermont hasn’t been without it’s share of adversity. Currently battling through a turf toe injury the shooting-guard has played only four minutes in the teams last four games. He said he is taking the injury on a “day by day basis.”

In those four games the team came up short against both Boston University and Stony Brook in their second contest of the year
    “With every loss you learn as much as you can from it, watch a lot of film on it and improve,” Rusin said.

In speaking about his Catamount teammates Rusin had this to say about sharing a backcourt with consistent-as-taxes point guard Sandro Carissimo.

      “You don’t find many point guards that really like to pass first and then score, but he’s got a little bit of both. He can knock down big shots and find people in the right spots,” he said.

As the regular season winds down Candon’s personal goal for the remainder of the year is to just get back on the floor but as a team they hope to get back to the championship game, do well in the playoffs and make it to the tournament. A healthy Candon Rusin will certainly go a long ways in the fulfillment of those goals.