I’ve been out of action for about a week. Here are some of my thoughts about the end of the college basketball season:
- I’ve heard a lot of Gordon Hayward bashing after his performance against Duke last night. To me, he was the most impressive player on the floor. He certainly missed some open jumpers and a couple of really tough looks in the last minute. He also got wherever he wanted on the floor with dribble, absuing everyone from Singler and Thomas to Scheyer and Smith. He also made some surprisingly athletic plays, including one incredible follow. I was most impressed by his defense. Over the course of the game he defended every Duke starter. From guards to centers he made an impact, used his length to affect shots and did it all without fouling. In my humble opinion, he helped his draft stock more than any else at the Final Four.
- It was heartbreaking to watch the Da’sean Butler injury. He was a borderline NBA prospect anyway, but I hope this isn’t the last time we see him having an impact on the basketball court.
- The most amazing thing about the whole Da’Sean Butler injury was Coach Huggins’ reaction. I admit it was strange the way he kept stroking his face, but it was an honest and unabashed demnstration of how much Huggins cares for his players. It was certainly a side of him I had never seen or considered before. Whenever I think of Huggins I remember a particular anecdote about his days as a player at WVU. I can’t remember where I heard the story and I do have a habit of embellishing things as I add them to my long term memory banks. The story is that during a game, a fight broke out between Huggins and an opposing player. Huggins threw a punch and knocked the opponent out cold. After the game the opposing player’s father confronted Huggins in the parking lot. Huggins responded by knocking the father out cold as well. He is also famous for punching out a police horse. It doesn’t quite jive with what we saw on the floor with Butler last weekend.
- A lot of people fell in love with Eric Bledsoe when he was busy dropping 29 pts. with 8 3’s on E. Tennesee. I would like to remind everyone that he is the same guy he was the rest of the season. Draftexpress sums it up nicely.
Bledsoe has a tendency to over- dribble and over-commit when driving to the basket, appearing out of control at times, which is a big reason for his extremely high turnover rate—coughing the ball up on an incredible 27% of his possessions. He averaged more turnovers than assists, giving him both the worst AST/TO ratio and pure point rating of any point guard prospect in this draft.
- As the season ends there are some players who will be leaving college basketball; a few will even be taking degrees with them. A few I will miss in particular:
- Goodbye to Tommy Mason-Griffin! Does the D-League have a summer league for guys like him? Don’t worry Tommy I’m sure you will love playing in Erie, it’s a great city!
- Goodbye to Jarvis Vanardo! I’ve enjoyed watching your dominating defense of the paint as much as I enjoyed watching you fumble entry passes out of bounds. Best of luck!
- Goodbye to Sherron Collins! My advice to you is to hire a priest and exorcise the ghost of Khalid El-Amin from your body.
- Goodbye to Da’Sean Butler! Your effort and leadership will be missed in the Big East next year. You were the Anti-Willie Warren and college basketball could use more players like you.
- Goodbye to Greivis Vasquez! There will be a severe lack of smarminess in the ACC next year.
- Goodbye to Jon Scheyer! I truly admire the way you completely re-made yourself from a complementary 2-guard into an NCAA Champion point guard. I wish you the best, and hope to see you fighting A.J. Price for minutes in a Pacers uniform next year.
- Goodbye to John Wall! I have resigned myself that you probably won’t be a Pacer next year. For your sake, I am hoping you be a Timberwolf either.
- Thanks to all the coaches, players and support staff for a terrific 09/10 college basketball season!