Saturday, February 22, 2014

More Glue Players Who Do Little Things To Win

More on "glue players," ones that do the little things often not registered by statistics while helping their respective teams win games.

RIDER: Daniel Stewart

We're breaking ranks a little here since Stewart has a good chance for post-season all-star recognition. But, the 6-7, 215-pound (barely) senior forward has been undersized and overlooked for much of his four seasons with the Broncs. Still, very few players in the league play harder and that's the truest measure of all of a glue player. He averages 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game ... and, he also leads his team in steals. Stewart does it all despite having to match up against taller, bulkier opponents nearly every game.

SIENA: Brett Bisping

The 6-8 forward's story has been well told in upstate New York. The sophomore was touted, a year ago, as little more than a long-range shooting threat. Then, after a coaching change last spring, he was asked by new head man Jimmy Patsos to identify his favorite player. Bisping responded that it was Michael Jordan. Wrong answer, Patsos told him. Bisping's new favorite player was to be former Detroit Pistons' bad boy Bill Laimbeer. Except that Bisping had never even heard of Laimbeer. But, he watched game clips and, then, began modeling his game after the former NBA player with overall toughness, strong defense and, still, an ability to step out and hit shots from the perimeter.

MARIST: Jay Bowie

It was hardly a coincidence last season that when Bowie missed nearly half the season the Red Foxes struggled. And, then, when he returned Marist had its best run. Now back at full health, the senior has helped lift his team to respectability. He's not the biggest (6-foot-5), the swiftest or the highest-jumping player in the conference by any stretch. But, he is among the smartest. He rarely takes a bad shot. He's a real team leader. And, he made one of the biggest plays in recent memory for his team last week, picking off a Siena in-bounds' pass with 3.7 seconds left and, then, draining a three-pointer from the corner to secure a one-point victory for his team.

SAINT PETER'S: Chris Burke

The 6-4 senior guard has had to accept being a role player throughout his career and has done so admirably, while doing a little bit of everything for a program that has had its share of struggles in recent years. But, things are better for the Peacocks this season, and Burke's contributions on both ends are a big reason. In the team's biggest league win to date, one over Quinnipiac, he had 18 points. He even finds ways to contribute when he doesn't score, getting seven rebounds in big victories over non-league rival Seton Hall and, most recently, seven rebounds in a one-point victory over Marist. He is also the team's second-best ball-handler and has a positive assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.1.

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