Isaiah Briscoe, 6’ 3” sophomore guard, Kentucky
Life can be rather uneasy when you play at a high-profile program and are deficient at the most visible part of the game. So it speaks volumes about Briscoe’s Glue Guydom that he has been a two-year starter at Kentucky despite being a career 22% three-point shooter and a 56% foul shooter. Briscoe’s position is technically shooting guard, but lately he has been more of a non-shooting guard, failing to reach double digits in his last five games and missing his last 11 straight three-point attempts.
Yet, back in January, Mississippi State coach Ben Howland called Briscoe the “heart and soul” of the Wildcats a couple of days before his Bulldogs lost at home to UK by seven points. “If you asked me who am I most worried about, I’m worried about him,” Howland said. “They need a tough basket, he’s the guy that delivers. He’s just a winner. He makes everybody else better around him.”
From a basketball standpoint, Briscoe’s contributions range from rugged on-ball defense to tenacious board work. (He has averaged 5.4 boards per game at Kentucky, an impressive stat for a guard.) This season, Briscoe’s leadership has been critical while he has been starting alongside four freshmen. “I’ve been a leader for as long as I can remember. It’s nothing new to me,” he says. “I look at my job as the guy who keeps everything together, makes sure everybody is on the same page. Me and Coach [John Calipari] are always talking during the game.”
At most schools, a sophomore is still considered an unpolished greenhorn, but at One-and-Done U, he is a sage old man. Briscoe provides wisdom as well as toughness. “He always knows the answer,” Kentucky’s stud freshman guard Malik Monk said in January. “He has seen everything we haven’t seen. He has been through big games and big road games. He just makes us way more comfortable, knowing we’ll be all right.”
Unlike most Glue Guys, Briscoe was a much-ballyhooed recruit. He graduated as the all-time leading scorer at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic High School, and he was selected as a McDonald’s All-American as a senior. At Kentucky, however there are plenty of other guys with those credentials. That, combined with Briscoe's shooting woes, have forced him to find other ways to impact winning. If the Wildcats are going to reach the Final Four in Phoenix, it won’t be because Briscoe made a bunch of outside shots. It will be because on a team of young stars, there was one grizzled old sophomore who managed to keep everything together.
Honorable mentions: Kadeem Allen, Arizona; Tum Tum Nairn, Michigan State; Kyle Davis, Dayton; Matt Jones and Amile Jefferson, Duke; Theo Pinson, North Carolina; Mikal Bridges, Villanova; Vince Edwards, Purdue; Gary Clark, Cincinnati; Terrence Mann, Florida State; Sanjay Lumpkin, Northwestern
Past All-Glue teams
2016: Matt Costello, Michigan State (capt.); James Farr, Xavier; Landen Lucas, Kansas; Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona; Raphael Davis, Purdue; Marshall Plumlee, Duke;
2015: Rico Gathers, Baylor (capt.); Alex Barlow, Butler; Josh Gasser, Wisconsin; Dustin Hogue, Iowa State; Tekele Cotton, Wichita State; Raphael Davis, Purdue; Briante Weber, VCU (Honorary member)
2014: Patric Young, Florida (capt.); Tekele Cotton, Wichita State; Josh Gasser, Wisconsin; Justin Jackson, Cincinnati; T.J. McConnell, Arizona; Akil Mitchell, Virginia
2013: Mike Hart, Gonzaga (capt.); Kyle Anderson, UCLA; Melvin Ejim, Iowa State; Roosevelt Jones, Butler; Nate Lubick, Georgetown; Travis Releford, Kansas
2012: Darius Miller, Kentucky (capt.); Quincy Acy, Baylor; Travis Releford, Kansas; Toure' Murry, Wichita State; Anthony Marshall, UNLV; Jorge Gutierrez, Cal; Zack Novak, Michigan
2011: Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott, Notre Dame (co-captains); Terrell Bell, Virginia Tech; Brady Morningstar, Kansas; Draymond Green, Michigan State; Zack Novak, Michigan
2010: David Lighty, Ohio State (captain); Chris Kramer, Purdue; Reggie Redding, Villanova; Willie Veasley, Butler; Rick Jackson, Syracuse.
2009: J.T. Tiller, Missouri (captain); Taylor Griffin, Oklahoma; Jermaine Dixon, Pitt; Garrett Temple, LSU; Travis Walton, Michigan State.
2008: Stanley Burrell, Xavier (captain); Tory Jackson, Notre Dame; Dave Pendergraft, Gonzaga; Derrick Jasper, Kentucky; Justin Mason, Texas; Wisconsin (glue team).
2007: Dane Bradshaw, Tennessee (captain); Kyle Shiloh, Nevada; Dominique Kirk, Texas A&M; Othello Hunter, Ohio State; Marcus Landry, Wisconsin.
2006: Sean Dockery, Duke (captain); Dane Bradshaw, Tennessee; Mike Hall, George Washington; Sean Marshall, Boston College; Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, UCLA; Kenton Paulino, Texas.
2005: Jamaal Levy, Wake Forest (captain); Louis Hinnant, Boston College; Erroll Knight, Gonzaga; Christian Moody, Kansas; Ellis Myles, Louisville; Roger Powell, Illinois.
2004: Jaron Brown, Pittsburgh (captain); Tyrone Barley, Saint Joseph's; Erroll Knight, Gonzaga; Roger Powell, Illinois; Nick Robinson, Stanford; Robert Tomaszek, Texas Tech.
2003: Rick Anderson, Arizona (captain); Jaron Brown, Pittsburgh; Justin Hamilton, Florida; Chuck Hayes, Kentucky; Robert Johnson, Oregon; Ellis Myles, Louisville; Tony Robertson, Connecticut.
2002: Gerald Fitch, Kentucky (captain); Dahntay Jones, Duke; Billy Knight, UCLA; Byron Mouton, Maryland; Jarrad Odle, Indiana; Antoine Pettway, Alabama.
2001: Sergio McClain, Illinois (captain); Nate James, Duke; Luke Walton, Arizona; Justin Hamilton, Florida; Marcus Toney-El, Seton Hall; Jason Capel, North Carolina.
2000: Lavor Postell, St. John's (captain); Alex Jensen, Utah; Nate James, Duke; Brian Beshara, LSU; Stevie Johnson, Iowa State.