Couple of thoughts here
1) Thoughts and Prayers to the West Virginia players at practice today. I’d have to imagine Huggy bear ain’t gonna be too cuddly this afternoon.
2) I don’t like fans leaving. I’m not going to kill them for it – that was an outrageous comeback. But I don’t like it.
I’m a stay til the end guy – with the caveat that the game has some level of importance. Meaningless Yankees blowout in June? I’ll stay til the end, but if it’s a six run game and people want to leave before the top of the eighth to get to Billy’s I’m not gonna complain. On the flip side, I’m staying for a Giants game. The Odell vs. Norman game two years ago? The Giants fell down 35-7 with five minutes left in the third. I was adamant about staying. We stayed. And we almost saw an all time comeback.
Number 3 vs. Number 9? I’m staying at that game. Where else are you going? It’s a Monday night. What’re you gonna sneak fifteen extra minutes of studying in if you leave Fogg Allen before the buzzer. You stay at that game.
Dickie V has somehow become a caricature of the caricature he already was, but I’m glad he got on those fans for leaving and then proceeded to beat it into the ground. You stay at that game until the end.
3) It’s starting to feel very much like Kansas’s year. Every single big game these guys deliver. Jackson, Mason, Graham. Those dudes are the kind of guys I want when it matters. They’re just f-ing gamers. And all of them showed that last night.
And as much hyperbole and generic bs as those statements are – they ring more true in college basketball than maybe any other sport. If you have some guys who aren’t afraid of the moment, you’re golden.
4) I know this draft is loaded with guards. Fultz is awesome. Smith is an athletic force. I’m not as sold on Ball as everyone else but I know he’s great. Monk isn’t getting nearly as much love as he should, and neither is Fox. I’m sure all of them will have long, successful careers.
But if I’m looking at the landscape of the league. If I’m looking at what types of teams win and what types of players win. I want Josh Jackson. I want an athletic three who can defend at an elite level, play multiple positions, and make plays offensively. Yes, Jackson’s shot is raw. But he has the vision and playmaking ability of a lead guard, gets to the basket at will, and rebounds very well for a three.
Kawhi, George, Butler. All of these guys came in athletic and raw and learned how to shoot. Jackson will come in with a more complete overall game than any of them. If all of them learned to shoot, there’s no reason Jackson can’t.
I need a guy who can defend the Lebron’s and Durant’s and Harden’s of the world, and Josh Jackson is that guy. Bring him in, let him be an offensive facilitator and defensive force, and work on his jump shot relentlessly. Situation is obviously imperative. But I’d bet on Jackson leading more successful teams long term than anyone else in this draft class.