Thursday, March 24, 2011
Kemba Does It Again
The month of Kemba continued tonight, as he once again turned in a dominant performance on a big stage. Scoring 36 points to lead the Huskies into the Elite 8, Walker had his entire repertoire on display, scoring inside and out and all over San Diego State. Even more impressive was the timing of his scoring, pouring in 19 straight for UCONN when they needed it most, turning a small second half deficit into a lead.
Like so many great scorers before him, Kemba used his opponent's trash talk as motivation. The Aztecs were leading by 4, when San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin knocked him over with an intentional bump. Then, it was Kemba time. He went to work, hitting jumpers from all over the court (along with a couple slick inside moves) to put the game away. While he may have tired a little towards the end (missing his final 3 attempts) his teammate Jeremy Lamb picked up the slack hitting a huge shot, before getting a steal, assisted on a dunk and dunk of his own to finish off San Diego State.
So Kemba's ridiculous run continues for another few days at least, and whether or not his game is NBA ready is inconsequential. What he's been doing since the Big East tournament (and what really started in Hawaii in November) is bringing an NBA atmosphere to NCAA games. Even though everyone pays attention to college sports around this time every year, there aren't too many one name players who could be considered the face of the sport. Right now, it's Kemba and Jimmer (and now just Kemba). For better or worse, his offensive domination dictates isolation offenses (particularly late in games) that are common in the pros as opposed to the fundamental team game that most college teams play, which I'm sure will not make College ball purists happy. Want further proof of Kemba's popularity? Check out the cable info for the game and see which other games' description begins with a player's name (or look at our most popular posts). Marketing personalities of specific players as opposed to emphasis on teams is a decidedly David Sternian NBA strategy that is bleeding into college sports too and Kemba's leading the way.
So before we all debate his future or his negative impact on the game, let's just enjoy the greatness for a little while. Hater J, that picture up there is for you.