Spiders' guard Kendall Anthony finishing with flourish
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Opponents use words like ''unguardable'' and ''impossible to contain'' when describing Kendall Anthony, Richmond's senior point guard who is as likely to drive by a defender as shoot a 3-pointer over him.
Not bad for a 5-foot-8 speed demon who has been told he's too short throughout his career.
Anthony, a preseason All-Atlantic 10 first team selection, has now made more 3-pointers than anyone in Richmond's deep basketball history, and he did it with a flourish. He tied his career-high with seven as the Spiders stunned conference newcomer Davidson 89-63 in their last game Saturday at the Robins Center.
He hopes he can help the Spiders keep that good vibe going - and end a nine-game road losing streak dating back to last season - when Richmond (10-8, 3-2) visits No. 22 Dayton (15-3, 5-1) on Saturday.
Opponents have learned to not let Anthony's lack of size lull them to sleep.
''This is my third year playing against him, so I know what he's capable of,'' Wake Forest forward Devin Thomas said after his tip-in at the buzzer handed Richmond a 65-63 loss on Dec. 28. Anthony scored 21 in the game without hitting a 3-pointer, mostly of them coming on lightning quick dashes to the basket.
''When you let him get the ball in his right hand, he's pretty much unguardable,'' Thomas said.
''He's so fast. He's so talented,'' Demon Deacons coach Danny Manning added. ''Once he turns that corner, he's able to make tough shots in the paint for his size. A lot of guys that are his size don't do a good job of finishing. He does a great job of finishing at the rim, through contact and with contact.''
Despite averaging 28.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 steals at Liberty Technology Magnet as a high school senior in Jackson, Tennessee, and being runner-up for Mr. Tennessee Basketball, Anthony has always been doubted because of his size, which he said he's translated into motivation to always go at the game full speed trying to prove people wrong.
''I know I can't take days off, especially because of my size,'' he said before practice Wednesday. ''I have to do things that most players can't or aren't used to because of their size. I think, for me, I just have to work hard every day because of my size and because of my will and wanting to be good.''
It's that will and work ethic that caused Spiders coach Chris Mooney to take a chance on Anthony when most other schools that were showing interest were lower level mid-majors and schools in Division II.
Now that they're in their last year together, Mooney's payoff has been even higher admiration.
''He's the most self-motivated player that I've been around,'' Mooney said. ''In everything he does, he holds himself to an extremely high standard, as a student, as a player, as a captain. He just holds himself to a high standard. He's proud and I know Monday when we practice, he'll be the hardest-working guy. He's one of the few people that's so much younger that you that you admire, and he's a special kid and just incredible.
Northeastern coach Bill Coen got his second look at Anthony on Dec. 31 as the school wrapped up a home-and-home series. Anthony scored 14 points in the first half, and then just four in the second half as the Huskies rallied for a 58-57 victory.
One of the keys to the comeback, Coen said, was keeping someone in Anthony's face.
''When he's in the open floor,'' Coen said, ''he's impossible to contain.''
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