Monday was another typical day for Kansas State freshman Michael Beasley. He scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds – his 10th double-double in 10 games this season – and helped the Wildcats to an easy win over Florida A&M.
Beasley has been a monster this season, averaging almost 25 points and 14 rebounds a game. He's had two 20-20 games, scored at least 30 points four times and is about as good as it gets when it comes to carrying a team offensively. (Seriously, his rebounding ability alone must be worth 5 or 6 wins.)
But, as John Gasaway writes, even a player as spectacular as Beasley hasn't been able to transform K-State into a good team.
The Wildcats, despite adding Beasley, have been worse offensively this season than last, averaging fewer PPP and dropping in eFG. Turnovers are up (aided by a faster pace) and rebounding is the only thing the Wildcats do well.
(All of this probably makes K-State fans wonder why Bob Huggins couldn't have stayed.)
So what's in store for the Wildcats? A trip to the NCAAs is a possibility, but far from certain, which is too bad for hoops fans wishing to see the nation's best freshman on its biggest stage.
Mostly, all of this likely hurts Beasley, despite his impressive season thus far.
He's still on top of various NBA mock drafts or at No. 2, but I'm unsure how long that'll last if he can't make an impression on NBA scouts in March. After all, piling up stats in the regular season only accomplishes so much. Call it the SportsCenter factor.
A player like this normally would be makes scouts drool (see: Durant, Kevin), but Memphis' Derrick Rose, who will be playing late into March, is creeping ahead of Beasley. (Also not helping? Beasley's reputation that he's not easy to coach.)
Still, there's time. The Wildcats could pull off an upset or two and Beasley would likely be the reason why. And that would be good for both school and player.