- 7.9 points per game
- 2.8 assists
- 1.5 rebounds
- 0.9 steals
During the 2016-17 college basketball season, Cane Broome had to sit on the sidelines and watch the Cincinnati Bearcats win 30 games and earn a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. For a player who had played for two years with Sacred Heart and never had a winning record, it must have been difficult to be so close to playing on a winning team. Even though Broome was certainly part of that squad, he had to wait to log minutes due to transfer rules.
The wait ended on Nov. 10, 2017, when Broome was put into the starting lineup for the season opener, as the Bearcats hosted Savannah State. The 6’0” point guard had quite the introduction to the UC faithful, as he scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting (5-of-9 from three) in 20 minutes, while adding four assists. However, Broome’s role changed as the season went on, with some turnover issues eventually moving him to the bench. It wasn’t just the turnovers, however, as Broome helped give the second unit some much-needed scoring punch.
Scoring is what Broome does best. While he didn’t average 23.1 points per game this past season like he did when he was Northeast Conference Player of the Year in 2016, he still flashed plenty of scoring prowess, both nailing deep threes and figuring out crafty ways to get to the rim for buckets. He averaged 7.9 points per game, which equated to 15.4 per 40 minutes. In addition, he set a career-high in offensive rating (113.8). That had a lot to do with his improved efficiency. After shooting 32.2 percent from distance and 44.5 percent from the field overall at Sacred Heart, Broome boosted those numbers to 39.0 and 46.3, respectively, as a Bearcat. His true shooting percentage (.568) and effective field goal percentage (.541) were both career-bests as well.
Broome also improved as a distributor. While his 2.8 assists per game average was just a tick off the mark he set in 2015-16, his 95 total assists were the most he has had in a season. Sure, he did play four more games this past season than his last at Sacred Heart, but he also only played 698 minutes, which was down from the 1,126 he had in 2015-16. With an assist percentage of 26.2, Broome clearly made a drastic improvement, as he had a 16.6 assist percentage in two years at Sacred Heart.
One of the concerns about Broome was his ability to defend. With a 107.0 career defensive rating, he didn’t exactly fit the mold expected from UC players. But he dedicated himself on that end and posted a 92.8 defensive rating this past season. He actually contributed more defensive win shares (1.6) than offensive ones (1.5).
The Best of the Best
Nov. 10, 2017 vs. Savannah State
That first game was fire. 17 points, four assists, four rebounds, 6-of-11 shooting.
Nov. 13, 2017 vs. Western Carolina
He nearly mirrored his first game in the second, tallying 15 points, four assists and three steals while shooting 6-of-11 from the field.
Dec. 2, 2017 vs. Xavier
Broome didn’t back down in the most important non-postseason game of the campaign. He had 16 points and five assists.
Dec. 19, 2017 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
He tied a season-high with 17 points against the Golden Lions.
Feb. 18, 2018 vs. Wichita State
With 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, Broome started off his best stretch of basketball for the season, as he averaged 12.7 points on 61.7 percent shooting over the next six games. Unfortunately, he only scored 14 points combined in the next four contests.
For Next Year
Broome is still going to be competing with Justin Jenifer for the starting point guard spot, but its possible that both will be starters next season. If Broome is going to run the offense and not be more of a shooting guard, he needs to cut down on the turnovers. His 17.8 turnover percentage was the highest of his career, while his usage percentage plummeted to 20.7 percent, although that has more to do with playing on a better team. At Sacred Heart, it didn’t make sense for anyone else to touch the ball. Even if he isn’t the primary ball-handler, Broome will play more than he did this past season and will be asked to score more. He has been able to in the past and with improved efficiency, that should be even easier.