Posted: Tuesday February 14, 2006 3:07PM; Updated: Wednesday February 15, 2006 7:04PM
You may not get credit for doing the little things in most places. But in this space, the Glue Guys are the stars. Herewith the rest of the '06 squad:
Dane Bradshaw, 6'4" junior guard/forward, Tennessee When Bradshaw finished his sophomore year, he was the Vols' backup point guard. Then Bruce Pearl galloped into town and told Bradshaw he could start but would have to play power forward. Bradshaw's reply: Put me in, Coach! Bradshaw has started all 21 games this season while averaging 6.4 rebounds. Bradshaw still leads the team in assists with 4.3 per game, and he has a moxie that well suits his fiery new coach. Before Tennessee's game at Memphis on Jan. 18, Bradshaw, a Memphis native, made an unfortunate remark referring to all the "gangbangers" who live in the city. That caused quite a stir on game night, but Bradshaw went out and scored a career-high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists and five steals in the Vols' nine-point loss.
Mike Hall, 6'8" senior forward, George Washington Versatility is a key ingredient in a Glue Guy, but Hall, the Colonials' fourth-leading scorer at 11.6 points a game, truly understands which of his skills are needed during a game. Most of the time, that skill is rebounding -- Hall leads the Colonials with 7.5 boards a game. When GW has the ball, Hall understands that Pops Mensah-Bonsu is the team's primary option in the post. If need be, Hall can also take his game outside, as he did when he made 5 of 10 three-point attempts in GW's biggest win of the season, at Xavier. Even when Hall's shot is off, as it was during his 1-for-8 outing at St. Joseph's last weekend, he still grabbed 10 boards, dished out three assists and had two steals and no turnovers. That's what I mean by holding your team together.
Sean Marshall, 6'6" junior guard, Boston College If Jared Dudley gives the Eagles their energy on offense, then Marshall does the same on defense. He is big enough to battle forwards for rebounds, yet he is quick and determined enough to defend the best perimeter players in the country. Marshall's points, rebounds, assists and steals averages are all up from his sophomore season, but what he really gives this team is attitude. Remember the night he baited J.J. Redick into woofing with him when Duke visited BC? Redick did score 28 points, but Marshall chased him all over the floor and helped lead his team back from an 18-point second-half deficit. Marshall is BC's third-leading scorer (12.3 per game), and when he goes cold from the floor, as he did in losses in early January to Georgia Tech and N.C. State, the team suffers.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, 6'7" freshman forward, UCLA It is highly unusual for a freshman to make my All-Glue team, but Mbah a Moute's game is as unusual as his name. As the Bruins have dealt with all kinds of injuries on the front line this season, Mbah a Moute has kept them from falling apart with his offensive rebounding, tenacious defense and overall unselfishness. That enabled UCLA to bide some time while seniors Cedric Bozeman and Ryan Hollins got healthy. A native of Cameroon who attended a boarding school in Florida, Mbah a Moute was not considered a big-time prospect. UCLA coach Ben Howland decided to offer him a scholarship after watching him work out tirelessly in a gym that had no air-conditioning on a hot summer day in Florida. Mbah a Moute has carried that attitude into college. He is third in the Pac-10 in rebounding (7.9 a game) during conference games, and he leads the league in field goal percentage (.544).
Kenton Paulino, 6'1" senior guard, Texas When the Longhorns were reeling in late December following consecutive drubbings by Duke and Tennessee, coach Rick Barnes decided to switch sophomore Daniel Gibson, who had been playing point guard, to the wing. That meant Paulino would have to take over at the point. Not only has Paulino made that adjustment smoothly -- posting a 1.91 assist-to-turnover ratio -- but he also immediately responded by scoring consecutive career highs in wins over Colorado and Iowa State. Paulino also grabbed a season-high eight rebounds in Texas's biggest win of the season over Villanova. He does all this while sometimes taking on the team's toughest defensive assignment, which enables Gibson, the star, to stay out of foul trouble. When people laud Texas, they usually refer to the team's four-man nucleus of Gibson, P.J. Tucker, LaMarcus Aldridge and Brad Buckman. Paulino is the forgotten fifth starter. As a Glue Guy, he wouldn't have it any other way.
Past All-Glue teams
2005: Jamaal Levy, Wake Forest (captain); Louis Hinnant, Boston College; Erroll Knight, Gonzaga; Christian Moody, Kansas; Ellis Myles, Louisville; Roger Powell, Illinois
2004: Jaron Brown, Pittsburgh (captain); Tyrone Barley, St. Joseph's; Erroll Knight, Gonzaga; Roger Powell, Illinois; Nick Robinson, Stanford; Robert Tomaszek, Texas Tech.
2003: Rick Anderson, Arizona (captain); Jaron Brown, Pittsburgh; Justin Hamilton, Florida; Chuck Hayes, Kentucky; Robert Johnson, Oregon; Ellis Myles, Louisville; Tony Robertson, Connecticut.
2002: Gerald Fitch, Kentucky (captain); Dahntay Jones, Duke; Billy Knight, UCLA; Byron Mouton, Maryland; Jarrod Odle, Indiana; Antoine Pettway, Alabama.
2001: Sergio McClain, Illinois (captain); Nate James, Duke; Luke Walton, Arizona; Justin Hamilton, Florida; Marcus Toney-El, Seton Hall; Jason Capel, North Carolina
2000: Lavor Postell, St. John's (captain); Alex Jensen, Utah; Nate James, Duke; Brian Beshara, LSU; Stanford (glue team)