Friday, March 21, 2008

It won't B Easy

Just got done watching the Oregon-Mississippi State game, where the Ducks' Malik Hairston fouled out right near the end. Time flies. It seems like only yesterday that Hairston, in announcing his decision to attend Oregon, said he hoped to "Carmelo-ize" the program. The reference, of course, was to Carmelo Anthony's ability to lift a team to an NCAA championship as a freshman.

Hairston had a decent career but never brought the team that far, certainly not as a freshman. But you know who could be this tournament's Carmelo? Michael Beasley, or B Easy. The kid is a beast - the stats don't lie. Style-wise, I think Beasley compares more to Derrick Coleman - the young, dynamic Coleman, not the '70s Elvis Coleman. Coleman almost Carmelo-ized Syracuse to a national title in 1987, when future Orange star Anthony was two years old.

Oh my god, this is starting to read like a Mike Lucas column. I digress ...

Wisconsin will have its hands full with Beasley, no doubt about it. At work today there was talk that Butch wouldn't be able to hang with him, but I don't think Brian will be put in that matchup often. My guess is Landry will get the assignment, and will hold his own.

That's not to say Beasley won't get his numbers, but the key is for Beasley to not go for 40 points, and for him to be forced into working on defense. Both are realistic goals. The bigger key will be to control Bill Walker, Clint Stewart, and Jacob Pullen. Knowing Bo's defensive tendencies, whoever's guarding Beasley probably won't get any double team help, so these guys shouldn't get many open looks that way.

Recruiting nerds have known about Walker for about five years, since he and O.J. Mayo moved to Cincinnati to play together, and while he has been overshadowed by Beasley, he's still a stud athlete, and showed what he's capable of last night in the win over USC. Pullen is going to be a terrific guard some day. I have faith in Krabby on Walker and Flowers or Hughes on Pullen.

My sense is this is a team that's a little bit better than it's record indicates, most of their losses were to good teams. I saw them lose to George Mason and Kansas this year, but they've had some pretty impressive wins as well.

Still, I'm confident about our chances going in. Frank Martin is winning a lot of praise for outcoaching Tim Floyd yesterday, but we should have an edge there with Bo. Let's hope we're still alive 24 hours from now.

1 comment:

Mr.Man said...

Your sense is right. Check out where K-State is in Pomeroy's ratings--
It's the biggest discrepancy in terms of record v. rating out there. I think it's because they've totally pounded a bunch of pretty good teams in some of their wins.