Ex-Chief Parham on road to suc­cess at VMI

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL -

Dur­ing his fresh­man sea­son a year ago, find­ing Greg Parham (Monacan) in a VMI box score wasn’t as easy as find­ing his last name.

While the point guard played an im­por­tant role as a ball­han­dler off the bench, an­other fresh­man guard — also with the last name Parham — started and be­came the Key­dets’ lead­ing scorer.

This sea­son, Bubba Parham is still lead­ing VMI in scor­ing at 20.2 points per game, but Greg can eas­ily be found right be­hind him as the Key­dets’ start­ing point guard. Af­ter av­er­ag­ing just un­der 12 min­utes a sea­son ago, the 804 Parham is play­ing 30 min­utes per night as the lead guard. His as­sists, scor­ing and re­bounds are all up and turnovers are down. Both Parham and head coach Dan Earl say the trans­for­ma­tion from ro­ta­tion player to ev­ery­day as­set has co­in­cided with a change in body type. The 6-foot-4 guard en­tered VMI weigh­ing 160 pounds — maybe.

“At the height I’m at, that’s tough. You’re that skinny guy out there. Play­ing against the sched­ule we have, the guards are 185-190 (pounds) and they’re at­tack­ing you, so you have to have that mus­cle,” Parham said. This year I’m more pre­pared and I’m ready to stick my nose in the fight and com­pete.”

As a sopho­more, the Monacan grad­u­ate is weigh­ing in at closer to 185 pounds. With his new physique has

Greg Parham (top left) and Bubba Parham (bot­tom left) guarded Pitt’s Jared Wil­son-Frame in a VMI game in Novem­ber. A point guard and a for­mer Mon­can stand­out, Greg has be­come a more con­sis­tent of­fen­sive weapon for the Key­dets this sea­son. come the type of play that al­lows Earl to trust Parham as his start­ing point guard. He’s av­er­ag­ing 2.8 as­sists and has a 2-to-1 as­sist-to-turnover ra­tio up from 1.5to-1 a year ago.

“The big­gest thing is just see­ing the game and tak­ing care of the ball. His as­sists are higher, his turnovers are down. He’s do­ing a great job tak­ing care of the ball,” Earl said. “You can see that on the stat sheet, but you can’t see his abil­ity to bring the ball up against pres­sure.”

Pride takes pride in that abil­ity. He’s not likely to lead the team in scor­ing and won’t al­ways be the top as­sist man. How­ever, the sopho­more is al­ways look­ing to make plays on the court that af­fect the game. Parham’s abil­ity to han­dle pres­sure and see the court is the thing that keeps him stand­ing out.

“All my team­mates know how I play by now. If you’re open I’m go­ing to get it to you. I know where to pass it,” Parham said. “I know what they like, I know where it needs to be to be suc­cess­ful. Hav­ing that good court vi­sion al­lows me to pin­point the pass and make sure it gets there on time.”

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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