Dec. 1, 2004
There are so many stars on the college basketball landscape these days. Here's a look at five guys who are vital to their ranked teams, yet they don't often see their names in the headlines.
The guys on my All-Support Team aren't superstars, but ask their coaches about their importance and you'll hear rave reviews. They do so many things to help their clubs get to the winner's circle. Without their contributions, their teams wouldn't be as successful.
Luther Head — Illinois has a dynamic duo in Dee Brown and Deron Williams, but Head has come on strong. He scored 20 points and added nine assists in a recent win over Gonzaga. The senior guard gives coach Bruce Weber more scoring punch and aggressiveness.
Chris McCray — Coach Gary Williams is happy to have McCray in his lineup at Maryland. The 6-5 junior guard can do it all ... dribble, pass, shoot, play defense. He showed his versatility by guarding Memphis star Rodney Carney in an 84-61 win at the Tip-Off Classic in Springfield, Mass. The Terps feature John Gilchrist, but McCray can flat-out play too.
Ivan McFarlin — Oklahoma State's stars are John Lucas and Joey Graham. But McFarlin, the senior forward, is a valuable team member along the baseline.
Josh Pace — At Syracuse, where Gerry McNamara and Hakim Warrick deservedly receive a lot of publicity, don't forget what the 6-5 Pace brings to the table. He can drive and he isn't afraid to put up a key basket in crunch time shooting lefty. He's fearless and he's a veteran. Pace is such a factor for coach Jim Boeheim's squad.
Jawad Williams — North Carolina has its terrific trio of Raymond Felton, Sean May and Rashad McCants. But keep an eye on Williams, the 6-9 senior forward. He hit 9-of-11 field goals and scored 23 points in North Carolina's recent rout of USC.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.