by: Chris Kattan
A LOT was learned/reaffirmed last night in the Hilton Coliseum. Time to Hit ‘Em with that basketball intellect.
1.) If You Didn’t Know Prior To Last Night That Georges Niang is the Most Underrated Freshman in the Country, Then Fuck You.
Am I surprised the Methuen, Massachusetts native is Iowa State’s third leading scorer, most efficient body at Fred Hoiberg’s disposal, and is in the running for Big 12 rookie of the year? Nawwww, not in the slightest. Honestly.
When Bleacher Report formulated their algorithmic list of the nation’s top 50 incoming Freshman back in May and I saw that Niang wasn’t included, I sat back and simply laughed. Had those bum ass columnists neither seen nor heard of my dude posting 23 points on 11-of-11 shooting from the field against Michigan’s baby-faced assassin Nik Stauskas, Arizona’s stud frosh center Kaleb Tarczewski and soon to be heavy Duke Blue Devil contributor Alex Murphy in Tilton’s 2011 NEPSAC Class AA championship win over St. Marks? How about when he had Memphis’ diaper dandy Shaq Goodwin more off balance than fat bitches walking tight ropes with a variety of crafty post moves/power finishes en-route to 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting back at the 2011 Nike EYBL Championships in Georgia? The Hoganz Classic out in Lynn, MA that same summer where he poured in 73 points in two games via mainly one dribble drives from the perimeter? Can’t say you have? Shit, where you been at, BR??
Well, I was at that classic NEPSAC championship game (check the Hoop Mixtape, you’ll see my two boys, Tilton’s AD and I posted on the baseline. Peep the grey hoody exposing my white-T), in the “ratchet” audience out in Lynn and watched that EYBL Championship from start to finish on ESPNU. And my impression was simple: Yes, Georges might both lack the bounce/explosiveness and size needed to crack the “ELITE level” recruit label that Ben Mclemore, Archie Goodwin, Marcus Smart, Nerlens Noel, etc. casually assume. But you’d be crazy in saying this kid wouldn’t provide immediate HEAVY contributions at the next level after demonstrating a basketball IQ/footwork/touch beyond his years and an ability to score (EFFICIENTLY) in virtually every facet of the game on a nightly basis against the Nation’s collection of star-studded bigs.
In summary, because Georges had BEEN producing against the Steven Adams’, the Mitch McGary’s, the Kaleb Tarczewki’s of the world and put up numbers that were in no way inflated because of his playing alongside Noel/Wayne Selden, why wouldn’t one trust that those creative instincts, touch and polished skill set would instantly translate at the next level? And through 28 games (especially last night), he’s continued to torch dudes with his immaculate pump fake, finesse up and unders, spins and baby hooks COURTESY of an excellent understanding of how to use his body and a silky stroke that forces bigs to extend out to the perimeter. Oh and those defensive shortcomings all those scouting services were talking about? He’s got that under control, just ask Jeff Withey.
Another clear case of the “certified” basketball expert failing to emphasize the importance of skill and focusing far too much on what the kid can/cannot do from an athletic standpoint. Keep on riding the underrated train, homie. It’ll serve you well, especially when all those Big 12 honors start piling on. Breakout performer in 2014? Well, considering the fact that he’ll be in the gym adding to his natural big body frame, working on his explosiveness from the perimeter, and, of course, taking thousands of jump shots, I’d say the possibility is quite high
1.) Ladies & Gentlemen, I’d Like to Welcome the CLASSLESS Ass Formally Known as Elijah Johnson to the Stage
Before I say anything, let me just state that in another life I most certainly would have disrespectfully woofed one down at the end of regulation just like Elijah. If I had as shitty of a slump as EJ did in the middle of the season with so many people doubting my draft stock and ability to help Kansas make a serious push come March I would be sticking my junk in a crowd’s will all day, all night. But I’m speaking from the perspective of that dude who tried to throw down in fisticups with Bill Self. And neither that motherfucker nor the rest of the Cyclone student body would allow “BOOYAH” Johnson to lay his nuts all over their pride and get away it (if they could, of course).
I’ll tell ya what: If I’m an Iowa State walk-on, I either a.) shoulder the fuck out of him in post-game handshakes, b.) look him dead in the eyes and shout “Suck my ass, Elijah!” or c.) shut my god damn mouth entirely because he dropped a massive 39 point dump on this beautiful bench warming face of mine. Ultimately, option C looks most viable. But because I’m Jewish and have adopted the loud mouth characteristic of my people, I might toss the prick a Yiddish “No-Goodnik.” GRILLLL ‘EMMMMMMMMM