March 11 – Kemba and Co.

It takes the calendar to roll around for the excitement to hit me again, and to realize that this is by far my favorite time of the year.  When a human with no tolerance can easily overdose on basketball.  I would not be one of those humans.  College basketball is reaching its zenith and the pro game is coming down the home stretch and becoming just as exciting across the board.  This weekend we’ll get a taste of what’s to come.  Conference championships.  The prelude to March Madness.  This Monday I will toss, turn and toil over brackets, brackets, brackets.  Kemba Walker gave us a taste of what’s to come, but I’m not sure if the taste he gave can be replicated.  I’m sure we’ve all seen the move and shot he buried against Pitt (If you haven’t, the video is below), which I can comfortably say was the best move/game winning combo I’ve seen all year.  Kemba freaking Walker.  This guy is amazing, and I’ve underappreciated him this season.  His scoring dipped a bit compared to what he was posting at the start of the season, but his numbers are still outrageous.  This is a UConn team that stumbled into the conference tournament, losing 7 of 11 games.  Since then they’ve won 3 straight, 2 of which were against teams in the top 25.  During that three game stretch, Kemba Walker became 1 of 5 players in the last 15 seasons to score 20-plus in three straight Big East tournament games.  In his last 5 games alone dude has dropped 134 points!  Talk about playing your best when it counts.  Did you know that UConn honored Kemba Walker at senior night?  I’ve never even heard of a non-senior being called out to be honored in the same fashion, but that should be the boldest indication that the Junior from the Bronx isn’t coming back to school.  And he shouldn’t.  He’ll be a first round draft pick for sure after scoring nearly 800 points this season alone.  (800 points in one season is absurd).  Only once all year did Kemba not reach double figures (8 pts vs. Syracuse).  When dude is scoring like that all season, you knew it didn’t bother him that on Thursday he had missed his 4 previous shots before hitting the dagger.  And while we’re at it, the move he put on Pitt’s big man McGhee was silly.  The cross, the hesitation…actually when you watch the replay, Kemba could have clearly gotten a shot off after the first move, but he waited for McGhee to build momentum, come back toward him, then hit him with the step back and dropped on his @$$ (literally) for an even better shot.  Winner winner chicken dinner.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend full of conference tournaments, your selection Sunday and your bracket filling Monday…see you then.

 

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