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Mid-Major Madness Men’s Player of the Week: Le Moyne’s Kaiyem Cleary

Behind a historic performance, Cleary has the Dolphins at 4-2 in the NEC in the program’s first season in Division I

Graphic by Hannah Butler.

Mid-Major Madness has selected Le Moyne guard Kaiyem Cleary as the Men’s Mid-Major Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 22-28 after leading the Dolphins 4-2 start in the NEC with a historic performance.

In the program’s first season of Division I basketball, head coach Nate Champion has Le Moyne at a respectable 9-11 record and sitting third in the conference standings despite being picked to finish dead last.

A major reason for that early success has been the emergence of Cleary, a former JUCO recruit who transferred to Le Moyne this offseason after spending 2022-23 at Ball State.

This past weekend, to secure the Dolphins third consecutive win, Cleary led the way with a career-high effort of 43 points, adding seven rebounds and two blocked shots in the 87-74 win over LIU.

As our own Sam Federman reported from the game, Cleary’s 43 points breaks a 70-year old program record for the most points in a single-game, first set in 1955 by Richard Kenyon and matched in 1971 by Phillip Harlow.

In addition, the 43 points are the most by an NEC player since Feb. 2022 and tie Cleary for 12th all-time on the NEC’s single-game list.

As one of 10 players to hit the 40+ point mark this season, Cleary’s 43 rank behind Denver’s Tommy Bruner and South Dakota’s Kaleb Stewart, who reached their point totals in a double-overtime thriller. So, Cleary has scored the most point in regulation this season.

His 43-point performance is the highest single-game output by a player on a reclassifying program since 2015.

For his staggering production and historic outburst, Cleary was awarded his second consecutive NEC Player of the Week honor.

Honorable Mention

Jordan King (Richmond) - After opening the week with a game-high 32 points, five rebounds and three assists in a win over GW, King forced an upset of No. 16 Dayton with a team-leading 17 points to keep the Spiders undefeated in the Atlantic 10.

Vonterius Woolbright (Western Carolina) - Despite a loss to UNC Greensboro last Wednesday, Woolbright still managed a double-double of 34 points and 15 boards. In a win over VMI, he posted a triple-double of 18 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

Tommy Bruner (Denver) - To defeat South Dakota in double OT, Bruner had 49 points on 15-for-39 shooting. That’s the most points by a DI men’s player this season and the fifth-most by a Summit League player all-time. He ended the week with 21 points in a loss to Omaha.