February 16, 2009
Want to see something awesome? Correction: Want to see two awesome
things? Watch college basketball. It's happening all around you.
It is rare enough that college hoops gets not one, but two utterly dominant, clearly-playing-in-the-wrong-league big men in, say, a five-year stretch. Who was the last one, Greg Oden? Even GODE didn't put up numbers like this. In 2008-09, we have two of these guys in the same season. If you haven't been doing so already, this is your call to enjoy it. You don't want to miss performances like these:
Hasheem Thabeet, Saturday vs. Seton Hall: 39 minutes, 25 points, 20 rebounds, nine blocks, ONE FOUL, 10-of-13 from the field.
Blake Griffin, Saturday vs. Texas Tech: 31 minutes, 40 points, 23 rebounds, 16-of-22 from the field.
Yes, you may feel free to read them over and over. I have. It's already Monday. These things happened on Saturday, you've likely read three or four game recaps and seen the highlights and still -- still -- I feel obligated to talk about them. They're just that beautiful.
Of course, neither performance was against top-tier talent, but if anything that goes to show just how far Thabeet and Griffin are above the rest of the NCAA. Average college talent falls low in their wake. They are world-destroyers, bent on collegiate basketball dominance. For Griffin, performances like that prove his continued stature as the most pro-ready player in next year's draft. For Thabeet, they prove that people who doubt his worth as a lottery pick -- who think his offensive game is adequately bad that he shouldn't be held in such high regard -- are completely wrong. You draft nine blocks and one foul. You draft it high, and you pay it a lot of money. Sometimes, basketball is just that simple.