Best backcourts in the ACC at UVa., Tech
When you've been together as long as Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell have been together, you tend to get to know even the little things better than you would ever expect.
"Being together four years, you learn almost everything about each other," said Dowdell, a senior and backcourtmate of Gordon who led Virginia Tech in scoring in 2005-2006 with 15.3 points per game.
"It always helps when you know what to expect out of your counterpart. I never have to worry about Jamon going into a game. I know if I make a mistake, he's going to be there to clean it up," Dowdell told "ACC Nation" at last month's ACC Operation Basketball in Greensboro, N.C.
The senior tandem at Tech might just be the best starting backcourt in the Atlantic Coast Conference this coming season. Of course, it could also be that they are not even the best backcourt in their own home state.
"This is going on our third year together. And so we've been through ups and downs together. The chemistry is just great - like, when I penetrate, and he moves to a certain spot, I always know where he is, or when he penetrates, I move to a certain spot, we both pretty much know the other is on the court at all times," said Virginia guard Sean Singletary, talking about backcourtmate J.R. Reynolds, who, like Singletary, averaged 17-plus points a game for the Cavaliers in 2005-2006.
Singletary earned first-team all-conference honors for his efforts. Reynolds was third-team All-ACC.
"I think he's the best player in our league - because he can shoot the ball so well, he's a great defender," Singletary told "ACC Nation."
"I really love playing with J.R. - because the chemistry is great. Just from doing drills, I can just see on the court things happening, plays happening because we've done so much together," Singletary said.
"It's great not feeling like I'm on an island out there - knowing somebody else is with me," Singletary said.
"He makes my job a lot easier," Reynolds told "ACC Nation," returning the compliments from Singletary. "He's a great guy - in practice, he's somebody who I can go to battle with any day, any time. When Coach asks us something, wants somebody to lead, I know either me or him is going to step up and lead."We feed off each other," Reynolds said. "If he penetrates, he knows where I'm going to be on the court, and if I penetrate, I know where he's going to be on the court.
"I see everybody feeding off of us. The team looks up to us - so we've got to produce," Reynolds said.
While Reynolds and Singletary have similar styles and similar numbers, Dowdell and Gordon are more complementary - with Dowdell offering the scoring touch and Gordon offering his talents as an occasional scorer (11.4 points per game in 2005-2006), gritty rebounder (6.0 per game, second on the team) and in distributing the ball (a team-high 4.4 assists per game).
"We just fit so good together - like if I get beat, I know he's going to be there. If we need a big shot, I know he's going to take it. It would be hard for me to play without him. I couldn't play with another guard in the ACC," Gordon told "ACC Nation."
- Chris Graham