FINDLAY – Taren Sullivan and Martyce Kimbrough took different paths to the University of Findlay, but the Oilers men’s basketball program is glad they both arrived at the same destination.
Sullivan, a 6-foot, 6-inch junior power forward, committed to Findlay early in his senior season at Bath.
Kimbrough, a 6-foot, 1-inch junior guard from Lima Central Catholic, started his college career at the University of Indianapolis before transferring to Findlay after his freshman season.
Two years later, Kimbrough (18.9) and Sullivan (17.5) are the leading scorers for Findlay (19-5, 13-4 GLIAC).
This success comes as no surprise since they were also the Oilers’ leading scorers last season when Kimbrough was first-team All-GLIAC and Sullivan was on the second team.
Sullivan said, “They started on me kind of early. I came here on campus for one visit and that’s all it took. I knew as soon as I got off campus. My mom and I told each other this is where I was going to be.”
Kimbrough said, “Coach (Charlie) Ernst recruited me a little bit out of high school. I was looking to transfer and they were looking for a guard. It happened to work out perfectly. It was perfect timing and couldn’t have been better.”
Ernst said Kimbrough “is an even better shooter than I realized when he was in high school now that we’ve had him in our program.”
“We were well aware of Martyce in high school. We would have recruited him harder had we not had a kid at his position who was a year older,” he said. “When that player exited the program, we had a gaping hole there.
“When that all came together, Martyce, along with his parents and coach reached out to us. Needless to say, that was an easy decision for us.”
Kimbrough is shooting 46 percent overall on field goals, 43 percent on 3- pointers (88 of 206) and is a 96-percent free throw shooter.
Ernst described Sullivan as “a deep shooter, a tremendous athlete, a guy with a lot of potential” coming out of high school.
He is shooting 56 percent on field goals, 46 percent on threes and 76 percent on free throws.
“In high school, he shot a lot of deep threes and didn’t get to the free throw line much. Now he doesn’t rely on his 3-point shooting. That’s just a small part of his offensive package. He has become a really well-rounded player.”
A big indicator of the development of Sullivan’s game is that he leads the Oilers in rebounds at 7.2 per game, up nearly three rebounds a game since last season.
“I’m playing the same position as last year but I feel like I’ve gotten more physical and gained a little weight and muscle,” he said. “Coming in, I was used to playing guard and was the back-up point guard my freshman year.
“After that, I was moved from point guard to 4-man (power forward), so you sort of have to get used to playing inside and outside. But so far it has worked out.
Kimbrough also said he has added things to his game in college.
“I’ve grown, I’ve gotten stronger. I’ve tried to turn from being a shooter to being more of a scorer. And now I’m trying to go from being a scorer to being more of a complete player,” he said.
Findlay’s season has ended in the first round of the GLIAC tournament the last two seasons. So, obviously, Kimbrough, Sullivan and the rest of the Oilers want to get beyond that point this season.
“We’ve reached a lot of personal accomplishments, but more importantly, we’ve reached a lot of team accomplishments. We have to finish strong and be ready for the playoffs and be sure we’re ready to take each game seriously,” Sullivan said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.