Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Senior Day Profile: Billy Bender

Bender in his Sophomore year drives past current New York Knick Jeremy Lin (Pic: Tom Gearty)
Billy Bender came to MIT from Woodlands, Texas as a freshman on the famed 2008-2009 squad, and his quirky knack to find the ball and get it in the hoop was discovered immediately. The 6'5" guard/forward possessed all the skills a utility player needs; Bender could do everything.

Bender is considered one of the top defenders in the NEWMAC (Pic: Tom Gearty)
Billy Bender started off his career with a bang. In fact, the current success of the MIT Basketball can be traced back to "The Shot" by Bender his freshman year. Down two with seconds left in the quarterfinals of the 2009 NEWMAC Tournament versus Coast Guard, the quiet but deadly freshman nailed a baseline jumper to send the game into overtime. MIT would go on to win the game and eventually the program's first conference championship. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Bender's heroics were needed again as he sunk all four of his free-throws in the final seconds of the overtime upset of #17 Rhode Island College. "Big Shot Bender" had emerged.

Bender comes into Senior night with 702 career points, 389 rebounds, and 183 assists (Pic: Tom Gearty)

Since then, Billy Bender has quietly been a force for the Engineers, and has turned into not only the most efficient offensive player in the conference, but one of the premiere defenders as well. Bender is currently ranked in the top 15 in more categories (12 out of a possible 13) than any other player in the conference, reflecting his overall impact on the game. He currently leads the NEWMAC in field goal percentage (57.9) and three-point field goal percentage (47.3). He is also 4th in FT% (76.6), 4th in defensive rebounds (4.6), 8th in steals (1.4), 8th in rebounds (5.8), 8th in A/TO (1.4), 9th in 3FGM (1.2), 11th in minutes (29.2), 12th in assists (2.0), 13th in blocks (0.4), 15th in scoring (10.2). More importantly, Bender consistently guards the opposing team's best player.

Off the court, Bender is a Chemical Engineering major, and has offers from a number of different chemical manufacturing firms for next year.