If you look at a stat line that included four turnovers, three rebounds, a steal and two points (on 1-of-4 shooting), you wouldn't think that guy would be the topic of much post-game conversation.
But in the case of Winthrop's Reggie King, the small things he did in Thursday night's win at Presbyterian helped more than his stat line would ever show, and that's a role the junior point guard is comfortable with - if not delighted in.
"There are times I've been discouraged, but I know what my role is," King said. "I've got no problem doing the little things," King said. "We've got scorers on this team, we've got a lot of scorers. So when I'm out there, I just want to keep it in their hands so we can get a win. I tend to do the things coach appreciates, and I'm OK with that."
The backup has had to play a more prominent role with injuries to small forwards Joab Jerome and Gideon Gamble, and will likely continue to today when the Eagles go to Gardner-Webb (7 p.m.).
For a guy who played just 36 minutes all of last season (and 40 in five games before Thursday's 15), King has inspired a lot of confidence. As coach Randy Peele talked about King after the win over the Blue Hose, he invoked the name of former Indiana star Quinn Buckner, who made it to the NBA as a shooting guard without ever being much of a scorer.
"With him, his skill is his will," Peele said of King. "There's just that quality about him that coaches love. You know he's going to work, you know he's going to lead. He usually doesn't turn it over that much, and you know you're going to get great defense out of him.
"He's really one of those sum-of-the-parts guys, and the team is better when he's on the floor because he's so unselfish."
Of course, comparing King to a 10-year NBA player and Olympic gold medalist might be a stretch, but the point Peele's trying to make stands. King's never been the first guy you think of, or look to. In high school, he gained notice by being the point guard for Duke's Plumlee Brothers (who were on hand for a Winthrop exhibition earlier this year). King was the distributor, the guy who put the ball in the hands of people whom it was intended for.
And even on his current roster, he knows his chances may be rare. Seniors Andre Jones and Reggie Middleton are going to get most of the minutes, and with freshman Andre Smith showing a precocious shooting touch, the third guard's job is likewise sewn up. But with the forwards out and Winthrop starting a three-guard lineup, King had to play 15 minutes at Presbyterian, and he made them pay off.
He took a charge. Got called for a push-off, but then made a defensive stop on the other end of the floor. Drove to the basket and got fouled. Missed his free throw, but wasn't afraid to go to the basket with the game on the line. Played solid defense throughout the night, and his stout frame enabled him to play effective doubles on Blue Hose big man Al'Lonzo Coleman .
"It's hard, because you have to be a special kind of guy to accept that kind of role," Peele said. "But he knows exactly who he is. It's a testament to him that I don't think there will ever come a time when I call on him and he's not ready."
That doesn't make it easy to be Reggie King. Asked if it's difficult slotting into his "in case of emergency break glass" role, he starts his answer with a shrug. He's hailed as a vocal leader by teammates, and he's not going to complain. But they see it every now and then, the frustration of not contributing more.
"He does get down on himself sometimes," Jones said. "He'll shake his head and say 'Man, I never get to play.' But you'd never know that to watch him in practice. The guy always goes hard."
For all that respect, he still can't even get first name treatment all the time. Since the Eagles are lousy with Andres and Reggies, alternate names are a must. Jones said that Middleton, being a senior, had dibs on "Reggie." So King's generally called "reggieking" -- one word. They say it in a low voice, the names flowing together quickly and seamlessly.
Of course, that's kind of the way he poured into the Presbyterian game.
The counting stats didn't look like much, but afterward, his teammates lined up to praise him, grinning as they did it.
Jones called him "the best defender on the team," and when Peele began his praise, he started by calling King "just really, really solid."
"That's a blessing, to have another guard who plays great defense like he does," Middleton said. "I know if I put up a fist and need to come out, we've got a guy who can come in and play the same kind of defense we expect from the starters.
"You know what you're going to get from him every time."