Sam Sessoms took the America East (AE) by storm as a freshman. The sophomore guard was named AE Rookie of the Year and third-team all-conference after a freshman season that saw him finish third in the conference in scoring. With high expectations for his sophomore campaign, Sessoms was selected as a member of the AE preseason all-conference team.
Now, with a very young team, it’s on Sessoms’ shoulders to lead the team during games and assume a leadership role off the court. With only two other returning teammates and four upperclassmen on the squad, Sessoms’ experience as a sophomore will prove vital in leading the Bearcats.
“The mindset is that we all know that we need each other, not one man can win the America East championship,” Sessoms said. “Not one man can win a single game at this Division I level. We all know that we need each other, but more importantly we need to listen to the coaches … If you combine all the coaches’ experience, it’s probably over 100 years, which is way more basketball knowledge than us. So, we need to be quiet, listen and buy into what the coaches are saying.”
Despite his scoring ability, Binghamton’s starting point guard is still looking for ways to improve his offensive capability. He specifically highlighted his 3-point shooting, as well as his ability to lead. He recorded a 36.6 percent shooting percentage from beyond the arc, but it is still not to the guard’s liking.
“Some people think I can score at all three levels, but I don’t think I was a good 3-point shooter,” Sessoms said. “There would be games where I would have flares, but I want to become a constant three or four 3-pointers-per-game type of player. So I’ve been working on my jump shot, the three in particular. More importantly, me being the Rookie of the Year and the leader of the team as a sophomore, the one thing that needs improvement is my leadership. Simply because, even though I’m young, the group of guys we have right now is extremely young. So, this year is different because last year I could just come in and play basketball and I didn’t have to do much because I had the seniors to do all the leading. Now I’m in a whole different role.”
Sessoms learned several key lessons from the previous senior class, a large group of talented players and strong leaders. Those same lessons are now going to be passed down to the new members of the Binghamton team by him and the other two returning players, sophomore guard Leo Gallagher and senior guard Richard Caldwell, Jr.
As he is expected to play with an entirely different starting five this season, Sessoms is re-evaluating the role he has to fill for the Bearcats and how he can contribute to bring his team toward success in the 2019-20 season.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve been playing how I would play last year in a game; it’s more because I’m trying to figure out what is the best way for me to play with this group of guys,” Sessoms said. “I can’t just go out there and play and have my own success, because I can do that, but if that’s not the best for the team than I can’t do that. I’m trying to see what type of playing style from me is the best for the team, and hopefully I’ll get it soon.”