Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Departing Players #11: Art Steward

With the throes of the offseason all around us, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the 20 best players that are departing from the Big Sky, either due to graduating, declaring for the draft, or transferring.

Art Steward was the very definition of a glue guy. He was the least heralded guy in the Montana starting lineup, but he did everything that Wayne Tinkle could have asked from him.

For one, he was a very defender from the three spot. This is almost an implied characteristic of any guy that plays for Montana, but it was true for Steward. He added toughness to the team, and brought his best every night.

Offensively, he was not a guy that would create his own shot, but would complement others. He didn't shoot many threes, but he could knock them down, which was just enough to make sure that his guy couldn't help a lot. He could go inside and get some buckets, and didn't force things. He shot 54% from two-point range on the year.

He helped out on the glass though he was not a great rebounder. It is tough to describe all of Steward's impact because so much of what made him a big contributor (and one of my favorite players to watch) were the intangible things he added. Getting a big bucket when needed, a big stop when needed, or just having his toughness rub off. Montana returns more talent than anyone in the conference, but it won't be so easy to replace all of the things that Steward brought to the team.

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