Hurd has evolved into a 'point forward'
As the game of basketball evolves, the term "point forward" is thrown around more often. It's an unofficial position used to describe players who possess the size and skills of a big man, but the ball-handling abilities of a point guard. Dickinso...
As the game of basketball evolves, the term "point forward" is thrown around more often.
It's an unofficial position used to describe players who possess the size and skills of a big man, but the ball-handling abilities of a point guard.
Dickinson State men's basketball coach Ty Orton thinks it's a term that may perfectly suit junior Tevin Hurd.
The 6-foot-6 forward has played just about every position for the Blue Hawks this season. But as the year has progressed, Hurd has been used more and more as a ball-handler -- and it's paying off for the team.
"It kind of just happened," Hurd said. "During one of the games, (Orton) was just like, 'Alright Tevin, you run the point real quick and set up this play.' I don't know if it worked or not, but he did it again and all of a sudden, it became a habit. Then all of a sudden, I'm playing point guard, which was strange for me because I'd never played point guard ever in my life. Maybe once when I was 6."
Orton must know what he's doing.
While Hurd has just 30 assists this season -- a product of DSU's offense that relies on several passes to create an open shot -- Hurd has just 50 turnovers. That's an average of 1.9 per game and isn't shabby for a player who consistently handles the ball.
While Hurd is listed as the Blue Hawks' starting small forward, their lack of a true point guard has made him one of its go-to guys in the ball-handling department.
"Tevin's doing a really good job for us," Orton said. "His defense still needs to improve, but he's bought into the system. He really cares about the system and he's doing a great job."
Hurd transferred from William Jessup University, an NAIA Division I school in Rocklin, Calif., where he averaged 10 points and 5.5 rebounds a game and played almost exclusively in the post.
At DSU, he's been asked to not only handle the ball, but be a slasher who can score and take offensive pressure off senior guard Nathan Lebsock and sophomore forward Matt Lee, who combine to average 35 points per game.
While Hurd is averaging 7.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, his intangible skills are most important to the Blue Hawks -- his good combination of size speed, in particular.
"One of the positives I have, coach Orton tells me all the time, is that I'm 'wormy,'" Hurd said with a laugh. "I'm able to get around defenders. That helps a lot too, especially when I try and post. But it helps a great deal when I'm driving to the lane and things like that."
Having an athlete like Hurd at his disposal has helped Orton guide the Blue Hawks to a 15-11 overall record, an 8-4 mark in the Dakota Athletic Conference and a home game in the opening round of the DAC tournament next Wednesday.
But, more importantly to the coach is that Hurd is his type of player off the court.
"He's just such a kind-hearted kid. He does things right," Orton said. "He's doing some great things in a classroom, the right things on the floor. Tevin's just a joy to coach."