|I'm not Thomas Jefferson|
But never, in W&M's 110 years of competitive hoops, had a Wren recorded a triple double. Until Saturday, when junior guard Terry Tarpey scored 18 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, and delivered 10 assists in the Tribe's 81-73 win over JMU. The 6'5" Tarpey was named CAA Co-Player of the Week, adding a career-high 22 points and 13 boards in W&M's 85-79 loss to Elon on Thursday.
Marcus Thornton receives his share of well-deserved press as the Tribe's offensive leader. But the 6'5" Tarpey has arguably the most well-rounded game of any of Tony Shaver's players. In his first two seasons, the Connecticut native was mostly known for his athleticism, defense, and dirty work. Though he came to Williamsburg with a reputation as a scorer (his father graduated as New York University's all-time leading scorer), Tarpey's contributions were generally hustle-related. He led the Tribe in rebounding as a sophomore, grabbing 6.1 boards/game. Presaging his all-around leadership this season, he was one of only two players in the CAA to place in the league's top 12 in defensive rebounding, blocked shots, and steals.
Tarpey's also tough as nails, an attribute not necessarily available in large quantities in the Tribe locker room historically. W&M's 3-1 start (woulda coulda shoulda been 4-0) matched the expectation we set for them at the beginning of the CAA's season-opening four-games-in-eight days sprint. More than any single player, Tarpey set the tone.
We don't expect triple doubles, or 15/11/4 lines, for that matter. But if a reasonable facsimile of this Tarpey joins Thornton, the emerging Daniel Dixon, and the talented, if erratic, Omar Prewitt for the remainder of the season, there aren't many CAA teams that can match the Tribe for all-around talent.
And that's as rare and magical as the bearded lady at the circus.