They're the shadow guys. They're most often out of the limelight shared by BYU's three leading scorers, Lee Cummard, Trent Plaisted and the ever loquacious Jonathan Tavernari. Mutts following the show dogs.
But Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer calls the Cougar senior guards Ben Murdock and Sam Burgess the glue that holds the league's No. 1 team together.
Murdock and Burgess. Not so much like a law firm as a plumbing partnership.
They're guys you'd want in your foxhole with bombs exploding all around. They do the dirty work. They're the ones with shovels and picks, swinging away at the job site, hard hats on top and lunch pails nearby.
On Wednesday night, Murdock and Burgess play their final game in the Marriott Center.
Since Burgess redshirted in 2005-06 and Murdock transferred into the program from Dixie State after an LDS mission, the Cougars have not lost a game at home.
Perfection in the Marriott Center, the nation's longest home streak, Murdock and Burgess can make that really mean something in their swan-song game with a win over Wyoming.
"I'll tell you, those two guys really make them go," said Schroyer, a former assistant coach at BYU under Steve Cleveland.
"They don't make many mistakes. They knock down open shots. They know their roles and they are a huge deal.
"All the attention goes to the other three, but they are kind of the glue. I have all the respect in the world for those guys. All those guys do is beat you. I have respect for guys who win."
Murdock and Burgess do win.
If the Cougars hold onto their top spot in the Mountain West, both will have been part of two consecutive championships.
The Cougars enter Wednesday's game ranked No. 24 in one poll and are the next team peeking in the other, the AP.
At 23-6 and 12-2, a win over Wyoming and TCU to close the season would give the Cougars a 25-6 mark heading into Las Vegas as the No. 1 seed in league tournament. Potentially, BYU could leave Vegas at 28-6, one of the best seasons in school history.
And Murdock and Burgess would be right up front. Or back, as your perspective would place their roles.
When current SUU coach Roger Reid put his name in for the Weber State job, he said he would take Murdock out of Dixie State as his point guard any day. "He's a Division I guy, no question," Reid said.
Folks around Utah County and Snow College, where Burgess played, also know firsthand of his toughness and tenacity as a three-sport star out of Lone Peak High School where he was the star quarterback on the football team.
Coach Dave Rose has been the beneficiary of the unsung duo, who will bid farewell to the Marriott Center experience come Wednesday night.
"Both of them are terrific competitors," said Rose, who sees both of them as trendsetters every day in practice.
"They are as tough of players as I've coached at any level, anywhere," said Rose.
"They come to play every day in practice and are just as consistent one day as another. If they are hurt, you don't know it. When you want to know about it, you can't get anything out of them.
They want to play every day.
"They really set a great tone for the rest of the team."
Murdock currently ranks 19th in the country in turnover/assist ratio. His leadership on this year's team simply translates as wins.
In the past three games, Burgess has made seven 3-point shots (7 for 9) and averaged 10.5 and 6 rebounds. He has shot 9-of-14 in that span and against UNM in The Pit he made all four free throws in overtime and registered a career tying eight rebounds.
Defensively, the backbone of BYU's current run through the league of late, Murdock and Burgess are the first line defenders in the barricade.
"Those two start our defense, every possession. Ben gets back at half court and Sam gets back in the hole. Those two negotiate the transition defense and get the ball stopped. They then initiate our five-on-five half court defense.
"With their toughness, they are two players we can depend on every night. They have made a huge difference with this group."Murdock and Burgess, brick and mortar, on stage for the last time this week in Provo.
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