Dellavedova relishing leadership role

February 10, 2012, 4:00 am
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When the Gaels made their magical Sweet 16 run, Matthew Dellavedova was a freshman. Two years later, theres a similar energy on the Saint Marys campus.

"I think were still improving this year," Dellavodova said. "Room to grow and thats what happened two years ago...kept improving all the way to our last game, so I think if we can keep that going, turn out pretty well."

As a player, hes also continued to improve each season. Now a junior, Delly leads the team in scoring and assists, all the while serving as an extension of coach Randy Bennett on the floor.

"Its a bit of extra responsibility and playing a bit more point guard spot this year so Im enjoying that," he added.

With the departure of Omar Samhan two years ago, and Mickey McConnell last season, the Australian guard is sort of the big man on campus these days, and so far, hes embracing his leadership opportunity.

"Hes as good a leader as weve ever had," Bennett said. "And hes only a junior. I dont say that about anyone. Weve had some great leaders over the last ... Mills, Samhan, McConnell. Dellavedova is as good as any of them."

"They led by example," Dellavedova said of the former leaders. "They always brought it every night in games and in practices so it was great to be able to learn off them."

"Hes such a dedicated, intense leader," Rob Jones said. "On the court hes always so into the game, but also calm and knows how to take control. I learn from him everyday and he might learn from me. Probably not as much but Im really glad to have him on my team."

During his three seasons at Saint Marys, hes been a key part of an incredible story, one that is still being written.

"I havent really thought about that right now," says the guard. "Might think about that after Ive finished playing here. Were just focused on this season and trying to get better each day continue to improve throughout the season."

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