Thursday, March 09, 2006

Unsung Stars

Two players have impressed me tonight--Quincy Douby of Rutgers and J. R. Reynolds of Virginia. A co-worker lobbied for him when I was filling out my All-American ballot, and in hindsight I should have given him more consideration. Douby averaged 25 points per game this season, a number lost in all the hype surrounding J. J. Redick and Adam Morrison, not to mention the fact that he plays for Rutgers.

He almost single-handedly beat Syracuse with 41 points at the Carrier Dome last month, and has not scored less than 18 points in a game since the opener. Douby kept his team in their Big East tournament game with Villanova for a half with 24 of the Scarlet Knights' 33 points. He is a good looking basketball player who could emerge as a star if he returns to Rutgers (with a new coach) for his senior season.

Since I cover the ACC, I have seen Reynolds play several times, but I've always paid more attention to his more dynamic teammate, point guard Sean Singletary. Reynolds is not as athletic as Douby, but he has the same type of silky smooth shooting stroke (say that five tmes fast after a couple of beers). He averages 19 points, having shaken off a slow start this season to post 22 consecutive double-digit scoring games. Also a junior, he will be one of the top returning guards in the ACC next year, and I will be paying attention.

He's not really an unsung star, in fact I think he has been somewhat overrated, but no player has meant more to his team this week than Syracuse's Gerry McNamara. He hit the game winning three-pointer with 10 seconds yesterday vs. Cincinnati, then forced overtime with another three vs. Connecticut today, a game the Orange won. He only made 3-14 shots, but handed out 13 assists. Syracuse's season was on the line when they arrived at Madison Square Garden, and McNamara made sure their NCAA dance ticket got punched. You've got to love players who come through like that at crunch time.


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