College Basketball in November is a little bit like eating a bowl of hot chili outside in July. However, yesterday's bowl of chili was super delicious.
If I were to continue with this analogy, then Michigan St's Darnell Valentine would have to be considered head chef. He was incredible last night. Better than Billy Ray Valentine slingin' pork rinds to Clarence Beeks.
Admission: Point forward types are my favorite basketball players to watch. Royce White. Boris Diaw. Blake Griffin. Anthony Mason back in the day. Georges Niang today.
My guys, Parkins and C-Dot led off their Monday show with how College Basketball is lacking quality. It sure wasn't last night. And a lot of the rule changes seemed positive as well. Shorter shot clock. A fewer timeout. Shorter timeouts. An evolved take on commercials. Everything sped the game up.
On to Kansas. They lost the game, but I thought they showed well. They have enough talent to cut down any and all nets in March, even without The Mali Popper, Cheick Diallo.
Experience in the backcourt + Talent in the frontcourt = Recipe for success in March.
Devonte' Graham - Went 1-9 last night and I still loved his performance. No need to ask Granny, this kid is spry. He's very heady, always calm and in control. Exactly what you want from a point guard. And the best part? He should be a four year player, which means three more seasons with him. My favorite player.
Frank Mason III - The second PG in the starting lineup, a strategy I think I like. KU can continually swing the ball around the perimeter and still have a natural PG running the show. This is a dynamic duo that should lead to an entertaining brand of basketball this season.
Wayne Selden - He's never done it for me. This coming from a guy who never stopped loving Tyshawn Taylor or Elijah Johnson. So this isn't your typical KU fan angst. Selden is kind of average at everything, which makes him a natural role player (I could see him being a better pro than college player). He's a 4th or 5th option on offense, who should be a better defender. Honestly, I'd prefer to see Brannen Greene in the game at crunch time to add spacing, unless there's a bigger guard who only Selden can match up with (and even then, ehh).
Svetlana Mele Kalikimaka - That dude has....a lot of confidence? Not sure what to make of him yet.
Perry Ellis - A monster who gets a bad wrap. I guess he's kinda soft and is capable of getting intimidated. Can freeze up. But appreciate him for what he is - a relentless scorer down low. I've never seen him more aggressive around the basket then he was last night. Reminds me of Pau Gasol (with the way he's perceived) and Darrell Arthur (with his ability to get buckets). Also, good to see him developing his outside game, which is his ticket to the NBA.
Carlton Bragg Jr. - That boy gangly. Has the body type to develop into a lockdown defender (who could take Selden's place, in my scenario, if he's quick enough to hang with small forwards - remains to be seen). Banged a few jumpers too, he's a guy to keep an eye on.
Jamari Traylor and Landon Lucas - Just a couple of guys, who can eat up space, rebound, play solid defense, and utilize 10 fouls. They are interchangeable, in my opinion.
Honestly, I didn't care much about the loss, but I'm not nearly as hardcore as I was when I went to KU. And I prefer to take a laissez-faire attitude with them, because KU fans can be a little...how should I say this -- Self-serious? Get it? Because of Bill, you guys.
I tend to watch KU non-conference games with one eye open, and the other eye on the future. I have no problem dropping a few games before New Year's if it helps the team's development come March -- Or even conference season, to help the team extend one of the more impressive streaks I've seen in sports in my lifetime.
All praise Andrea Hudy,