Gurley Setting Bench Mark For Minutemen
Dec. 7, 2009
By Dan Duggan
Boston University's John Holland and UMass' Anthony Gurley are certainly among the five best players on their respective teams. Yet, when the ball goes up for the opening tip, both stars have found themselves mostly in the same place: on the bench.
Although it doesn't take long for either to enter the game, there is a different status associated with being a reserve.
Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg was aware of that, so he met with Gurley before the season and discussed the plan.
"I thought I needed a little more offensive punch and basically one of our older, more mature guys to anchor that next group coming in," Kellogg said. "For him to really go with whatever the coach is asking of him is really a testament to his upbringing and the type of young man he is."
Gurley is second on the team in scoring (17.8 points per game) and minutes (25.8).
"It wasn't that tough for me," Gurley, the former Newton North star, said of moving to the bench after starting most of last season. "I feel like I adjusted to the role fine. I didn't have a problem putting my ego aside. As long as I was still being a big contributor to the team, I was fine."
Like Kellogg, BU coach Patrick Chambers elected to bring one of his top scorers off the bench to provide some offense. It's obviously working, as Holland leads the Terriers in scoring (19.0 ppg) and minutes (35).
"In this day and age everybody has an ego, and he really didn't," Chambers said. "He said, `Whatever is best for the team.' We needed some help off the bench with some firepower, and he was willing to step into that role and he's excelled at it."
Gurley and Holland might not be long as sixth men, however. The junior swingmen each were inserted into the starting lineup last week - Gurley because the shooting guard spot opened when Ricky Harris moved to the point, and Holland due to injury.
Holland, though, is fine with either role.
"It's not about who starts, it's about who finishes," Holland said. "I'm just trying to do whatever it takes for us to win. That's the main goal here."
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