Friday, January 1, 2010

Top 10 Black Bears of the Decade

KEVIN REED (03-07)
When Kevin Reed pulled up for the make-or-break 3-point shot late in a quarterfinal round tournament game against UMBC in 2007, the outcome rode on its accuracy. And there couldn't have been a better person to take that shot. Reed had battled his way back from an injury that wiped out his '05-06 season and I don't think we were ever as sure about a shooter as whenever Reed let fly. It didn't go in (unlike his jumper to upset BU two years earlier), but it doesn't change a thing about Reed's legacy. Easily the top four-year Black Bear of the decade, Reed established a new school record for 3-pointers and shares the America East record for 3-pointers in a tournament game. He's remembered also for being a top rebounder. The powerful 6-3, 215-pounder averaged 13.5 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals a game for his career. He was a classy competitor.

Getting the nod as player of the decade is Andy Bedard, who merely changed the culture around the program when he transferred home to Maine from Boston College. Bedard was a rare player, combining solid, fundamental play, a knack for the spectacular and a fierce will to win. A 6-1, 180-pound guard with explosive qualities, he guided UMaine to 42 wins during his two years in Orono. If not for the broken hand he suffered against Hartford in the conference tourney quarterfinals in 2000, who knows how things may have turned out. Bedard averaged 14 points, 7 assists and 2 steals a game for the Black Bears.

To recap, the list looks like this:

10. Justin Rowe
9. Errick Greene
8. Huggy Dye
7. Rickey White
6. Joe Campbell
5. Julian Dunkley
4. Eric Dobson
3. Nate Fox
2. Carvell Ammons
1-B. Kevin Reed
1-A. Andy Bedard

Honorable mention: Derrick Jackson, Colin Haynes, Ernest Turner

Note: Bedard (twice), Fox, Ammons, White and Rowe were Black Bears who earned first team All-America East honors during the decade.


MattT said...

Nice work on this list. I have a very similar top 10. I left off Mr. Campbell but he did as much as anyone to help the team win. Here's my list:
10. Justin Rowe
9. Huggy Dye
8. Errick Greene
7. Eric Dobson
6. Julian Dunkley
5. Rickey White
4. Carvell Ammons
3. Kevin Reed
2. Nate Fox
1. Andy Bedard
A couple of side notes:
-I did a little poking around and Rickey White and Justin Rowe were first team all conference selections as well as Ammons, Fox and Bedard.

-A couple of guys that fell just short for me failed to live up to their obvious talent and under achieved:
Mark Flavin and Ernest Turner.

- I'll bet Chris Bruff would've made this list if he had played with Bedard or Dobson instead of Turner, Sheets and Reed. That team sickened me with the amount of 3's they shot.

- The Overachiever Award for the decade is shared by Colin Haynes and Joe Campbell

Dan King said...

Thanks, it's fun reflecting on players. Hopefully, Black Bears can start bringing in a little more talent again. Cautiously optimistic about the results thus far this season. Strength of schedule is so weak that I'm real curious to see some AE results. That Vermont game will reveal some things.

Can't argue with your list. I'll admit, some of my picks were skewed by personal emotions. I guess my memory failed me on Rowe and White; should have double-checked that. Todd Tibbetts was an over-achiever that contributed to some good teams, too.

Matt Who? said...

Great list Dan and Reed definitely deserves the top spot. 6-foot-3? I think if he had that height he would have been a lock for a strong career at a major or mid major program.

Dan King said...

Agreed, never thought Kevin was as tall as they listed him. Great player for the Black Bears. The wins under Bedard, though, were hard to overlook. Some really wonderful players early in the decade.