March Madness woes, All-Glue nominations (cont.)
This might be looking a little ahead, but I was wondering, with Davidson's disappointing season, do you think Steph Curry will declare for the NBA draft, or do you think he'll take one last run at the tourney next season?
As much as I'd like to believe Curry will come back to Davidson, I think there is zero shot that will happen. The Wildcats may have had a disappointing season, but that's not his fault. Curry will be a lottery pick and should be a borderline All-Star in the NBA. College ball will sure miss him.
Finally, it is fitting to end the 2008-09 Mailbag season with some reactions to my 10th annual all-Glue team. I only had a limited number of spots on the team and there were many, many good candidates. Let's start with what was by far the most thorough, most passionate and most convincing case for one of the players who did not make my list:
It is an absolute crime that [Memphis senior forward] Antonio Anderson has never made your All-Glue Guy team. He is the epitome of the term. After reading the descriptions of this year's team, I see characteristics of all the players in AA. He always guards the other team's best perimeter player, and in almost every case he shuts them down. His leadership has shown through on many occasions: demanding and making the last second layup to win the Tulsa game, fully embracing and endorsing Tyreke Evans as the point guard, calming the team down through words or making key baskets. Several times, I've seen him come into the huddle and calm down Calipari when he's going crazy. He will become the first player in UM history to have 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career. He is also on track to become [along with fellow senior Robert Dozier] the winningest player in NCAA history. Perhaps you can honor him with a lifetime achievement Glue Guy award for consistency over a four-year career.
A lifetime achievement Glue Guy award? Now that's brilliant. As it stands, Anderson has definitely earned the title of best Glue Guy never to be named to the All-Glue team. (I should call that the Colin Montgomerie award.) I think Brent probably would have had a better case last year. The reason I left Anderson off is I really see him as the heart and soul of this Memphis team -- a star player, not a role player. Let's face it, calling someone a Glue Guy is sort of damning him with faint praise. Players embrace that role more out of necessity than choice. Still, given that Anderson is Memphis' third-leading scorer, and so much of the offense is built around freshman Tyreke Evans, I probably should have had him on the team. Sorry, Antonio. Sorry, Brent.
How could you leave Chester Frazier from Illinois off the team? I would give him the nod over [Michigan State guard Travis] Walton because Walton has a superior cast of players. Frazier is the lead dog of a bunch of mutts.
Again, a worthy suggestion, and again, this Glue stuff is in the eye of the beholder. One of the rules I go by is a glue guy cannot be the starting point guard. I've made one or two exceptions over the years, but since point guard is the most important position on the floor, by definition it can't be filled by a "role" player. I do agree with Scott that Frazier is a terrific defender, but since Walton was just named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (admittedly a reflection of his playing on the league's best team), I believe my choice has been validated.
Here are my thoughts on other names you all submitted for consideration:
Jeff Adrien, UConn (Lee Feder, Waterbury, Conn.) He was the leader for captaincy in December, but over the course of the season Adrien emerged as arguably UConn's most valuable player. Played himself out of Glue consideration.
Chris Wright, Dayton (Drew K., Middletown, N.J.) Sorry, this guy is a budding superstar. Maybe on a team with better players he'd be the sticky man, but on the Flyers, he's the featured performer.
Brady Morningstar, Kansas (Johnny Trumble, Olathe, Kan.) Nice player, but a little too offensive-minded for Glue consideration.
Joe Krabbenhoft, Wisconsin (Bruce Stefanski, Appleton, Wisc.) Very, very hard to leave him off. He was on my first names out list along with Anderson and Syracuse's Paul Harris. Maybe I was more influenced than I should have been by the uncalled flagrant foul he committed against Purdue guard Lewis Jackson.
Dave Neal, Maryland (Jonathan Fusfield, Rockville, Md.) Nice player with All-Glue potential, but it's hard to really consider someone on a team that at this point wouldn't make the NCAA tournament.
Danny Green, North Carolina (Kevin Brewer, Clemmons, N.C.) Has some Gluey traits, but the real Glue Guy on this team was supposed to be injured forward Marcus Ginyard. If he were healthy, he'd be on the team -- and the Tar Heels might still be undefeated.