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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jimmy V Classic

New friend Hale had an extra ticket to the Jimmy V Classic last night, and despite how much I complain about my early in time at work, it's hard for a hoops junkie to turn down a free ticket to any kind of basketball at Madison Square Garden, perhaps the sport's most historic venue.

Davon Jefferson(I took a few short video clips with my compact still camera, but am having trouble uploading them this morning, so I grabbed two still shots of slam dunks from last night's USC-Memphis game.)

And even though I've not fully gotten over this annoying cold, the chance to see three of the nation's top freshmen -- all projected first-round picks next June -- was something I could not pass up. My boy Jeff Gluck would have been proud.

Joey DorseyKansas State stud Michael Beasley -- I'll call him Michael Beastley -- is going to be a nice player. Great poise for a young player, but also very strong inside. Might not have great NBA size, but is one of those players who still finds a way to get to the ball. He was impressive in a televised overtime loss to Oregon last week, and was solid in a loss to Notre Dame last night.

But the game we really came to see was the second one, Memphis vs. Southern California. Hale is a Memphis grad and warned me that he could get irrational, but he was well behaved, which was a surprise taking into account his pregame disclaimer, as well as the Memphis fans I've heard over the years in covering/watching that nice rivalry with Cincinnati back in the day. Hale acknowledged as much when I told him I thought Memphis fans were among the most obnoxious I'd ever seen. "That's funny, a lot of Memphis people say the same thing about Cincinnati fans. But I'll admit, there are some from Memphis who would pee on you if you were wearing the wrong colors."

Anyway, I think we both expected a more up-and-down game than it turned out to be. Memphis' prized freshman, Derrick Rose, was a little out of control at times but still seemed like more of a complete player than I'd imagined. He had 10 points, but also led the team in rebounds, assists and steals.

And the other freshman, OJ Mayo, like Beastley, played with impressive ease for such a young kid. Like Greg Oden and LeBron James, he just looks five years older. He seems pretty strong, and brings a well-rounded game to the PAC-10. I already have the two USC-UCLA games marked on my calendar. Those will be exciting to watch in January and February.



At 11:14 AM EST, Anonymous Pee stick said...

Did Bill Walker take anither leak on the sideline?


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