Green shines as St. Mary's rolls past Kellenberg
That's Danny Green's little brother.
Devonte Green hears the whispers echoing from the stands game after game.
"It puts a target on my back," Green said of being the younger brother of Danny Green, a former St. Mary's star who is now a shooting guard for the San Antonio Spurs. "It's nice that people know who I am but I get compared to him everywhere I go and that gets annoying sometimes. It puts pressure on me because I have to perform everywhere I go."
Yet everywhere he's gone this season, he has performed.
The freshman guard, in his first season with St. Mary's and fourth overall at the varsity level, scored 27 points Saturday -- including the 1,000th of his career, according to St. Mary's coach Bill Harkins -- as the Gaels cruised to an 84-57 win at Kellenberg.
Danny Green's little brother isn't so little anymore. He's now being recognized more for his game than his last name.
Green, who is averaging 21.6 points this season, says that the main difference between him and his older brother is that Danny is more of a spot-up shooter, whereas he will attack the basket. He showed that Saturday by creating his own shot off the dribble or getting out in transition for the easy bucket. None of which were prettier than an up-and-under lay-up he converted plus the foul shot to put St. Mary's ahead by 16 just before the half.
Green also defended Kellenberg's best offensive player, Jeremy Arthur, who was limited because of foul trouble and held to eight points.
"People don't talk about the defensive side of him," Harkins said of Green. "He's a heck of passer, shooter and scorer but defensively, him pressuring guys can change the game."
In the Gaels' starting lineup -- which consists of one freshman, three sophomores and one junior -- Jessie Govan is to Devonte Green what Tim Duncan is to Danny Green.
The big man knows how to use the glass on shots out of the post, controls the boards, and helps erase teammates' mistakes on the defensive end. The 6-9 Govan had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Then there's Patrick Jackson, the Manu Ginobili of the unit, a slasher with range who can get to the basket or pull up for the midrange jumper. He scored 11 of his season-high 22 points in the first quarter and added seven assists.
"My teammates were looking for me, I made good shot selections and took what was available," Jackson said. "We all know how each other play and get each other involved."
That includes Stephen Milhaven, who Harkins calls "a throwback player." The 6-4 junior, the eldest member of the starting lineup, can bang with the big bodies down low or step out and hit the three, both of which he did Saturday while scoring 11 points.
Bryan Gellineau scored 11 of Kellenberg's 13 first-quarter points and finished with a season-high 24 points and 14 rebounds. Conor Powers had 14 points, including four threes.
But Kellenberg couldn't stop Green, who in addition to reaching a milestone, had six assists and four steals. He says that he speaks regularly to his older brother, who in his fourth season in the NBA is averaging a career-best 9.6 points.
"I talk to him three or four times a week," Devonte said. "He just tells me to keep working hard and keep going after it."
As Devonte continues to create a name for himself, maybe it will one day be Danny who hears the whispers.
That's Devonte Green's older brother.