Here are four people that grabbed my attention this weekend…
1) BEN MCLEMORE
I’m always going to be a college basketball junkie. This year, however, I’m intently studying the candidates for early draft picks. Ben McLemore shined Saturday night.
Most people have watched McLemore for Kansas this year. There’s been no doubt he’s got the talent to be the best player in college basketball. The risk with drafting McLemore has been his fear for taking over the game. KU is the rare program that starts four seniors, yet is an elite team. McLemore has struggled as a freshman on a team of seniors despite being the most talented player in the country. Against Iowa State, he was very hesitant. I’m guessing Coach Bill Self had a conversation with him because he was perfect on Saturday against West Virginia. Taking shots without hesitation and attacking the defense. It wasn’t just the 36 points, it was his confidence.
I feel much better about McLemore as the number one pick.
2) VANAE CARSON
I have the strange feeling we won’t be seeing anymore attacking, negative tweets from Jahii Carson’s mother. It’s almost impossible to raise a son as good as Jahii while being a societal waste so (without ever meeting her) I’m going to assume Vanae is a good person who had a bad day.
Many of her comments were very sound basketball criticisms. The great irony is what she forgot. These are college kids. They are someone else’s sons, just like one of the players is her son. You have to keep your comments within the family. Jonathan Gilling’s decision to rush up a three-pointer at the end of the USC game was not nearly as bad of a decision as hers was to tweet her opinions.
Even worse, she fails to realize that NBA scouts take notice of events like that. Do you think an NBA team wants to deal with a tweeting parent criticizing teammates? Would they draft Carson anyway? Yes, of course. However, don’t think for a minute that scouts won’t ask ASU personnel and coaches about it as they prepare for the draft.
Good people make mistakes, learn from them and rarely repeat them.
3) RYAN KELLY
Duke’s Kelly had only played in two ACC games this season. You were still honoring your New Year’s resolutions when he last played. He played this weekend in matchup of the 3rd-ranked Blue Devils and 5th-ranked Miami Hurricanes. At times it looked like he was the only person playing.
Kelly scored 36 points in 32 minutes. More rebounds than missed shots — FGs and FTs included.
Duke has not lost a game in which Kelly’s played. They may not lose again.
4) JOE FLACCO
The Ravens showed you respect? It’s not about the money?
Flacco sounds like a whiner. He’s clearly bitter about something. Maybe he felt the Ravens didn’t defend him enough when he’s been ridiculed in the past. Sounds like someone who’s very thin-skinned and his feelings have been hurt. Keep your eye on Flacco for the next few years. I have a feeling you’ll see a guy who’s never satisfied. That’s normally a compliment, but not this time. He’s satisfied with himself but not the way he’s been treated. Those feelings never go away from someone who feels wronged, they just get buried for awhile.