Sydney, Aus (St Joseph’s College)
Former Team: LSU Tigers
8.2 MPG 1.2 PPG 1.1 RPG .3 APG .1 SPG .1 BPG 22.2 % FG 29 % 3FG 60.0 FT
The acquisition of Hayward gives this Minuteman team their first International player. At St. Joseph’s College, a boarding school in Sydney, Hayward was a two year captain and MVP. In his Senior campaign he averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds a game. Hayward really grabbed the attention of scouts when he starred on an AAU tour in the U.S for AUSA hoops, an Australian AAU program dedicated to give their players exposure in the States. The Aussie originally committed to LSU and coach Johnny Jones, who has had recent success in that nation with the #1 high school recruit in 2015 and eventual #1 NBA draft pick Ben Simmons. Yet, after a tumultuous season in which Jones was fired and Hayward rarely saw the floor, he decided to take his talents to Amherst. Hayward struggled from the floor in his freshman season, but reached season high’s in points with 8 against both Mississippi State and Texas Southern.
After sitting out this season, Hayward will have 3 years of eligibility remaining at UMass. At 6’4, Hayward stands a bit taller than most of the guards on the roster and provides the Minutemen more of a traditional look at the shooting guard spot when they elect to use him in the future. The major strength of his game appears to be shooting, yet it is clear that his long wingspan not only allows him to get his shot off over defenders but gives him the ability to attack the rim and finish over taller opponents. Additionally, it allows him to affect the game on the defensive end with hustle plays such as steals and blocks. Hayward is a very versatile and fundamentally strong player with the intangibles to be a starter in a year or two. For now, he will have to watch from the sidelines and analyze how the tough and gritty style of the A-10 differs from his time in the SEC.
Role/Attributes: Smooth Shooter, Athleticism, Length
“I’m just trying to work on my whole game,” he said. “With more than one of us sitting out I’ll have a chance to get better and build that chemistry so we can hit the floor running at this point next season.”
Quote from Daily Hampshire Gazette Article http://www.gazettenet.com/UMass-basketball-gets-Aussie-transfer-Kieran-Hayward-via-LSU-10167411 by Matt Vantour