(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
Despite starting just two games in the regular season, St. Bonaventure junior forward Denzel Gregg averaged 10.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and a block in Atlantic 10 play. He also shot 47.2 percent from the floor.
That production as the first man off the bench was recognized on Tuesday, when the Syracuse, N.Y. native was selected as the A-10 Co-Sixth Man of the Year. He shared the award, which is voted on by the league’s coaches, with UMass guard Jabarie Hinds.
Gregg is the first Bonnie to be named Sixth Man of the Year, an honor the conference started awarding in the 1996-97 season.
“It’s a blessing,” Gregg said. “Thanks to the coaches for giving me opportunities; it was just a really nice honor.”
Gregg played about six more minutes a game than he played in 2014-15 and made a major jump from his previous averages of 3.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 41.2 percent shooting from the floor. If not for St. Joe’s forward Isaiah Miles’s improvement, he may have brought home Most Improved Player of the Year as well.
With the numbers the 6-foot-7 forward has put up and the athleticism he possesses, he would be a likely starter on many of the other A-10 squads. Many players would be disgruntled with being left out of the starting five, but he’s not complaining.
“Everybody has to play their role,” Gregg said. “We’re having a great year, so there’s no complaints with me. I’ll come off the bench, it doesn’t hurt my heart or anything. It’s a good role for me and I fit the role well so it works, obviously.”
Now, Gregg and the team are putting their focus on Brooklyn for the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The experiences of a freshman year run to the semifinals and last year’s quarterfinal finish have prepared him for the run this weekend, where the Bonnies hope to take home the title.
“It’s a different part of the season, playing back-to-back games and getting ready for the next opponent the night before,” Gregg said. “We have veteran guys who have been there before and understand what it takes to win there.”
To cut down the nets on Sunday afternoon, Gregg’s value off the bench will be a major factor.