Let the national accolades begin for Kentucky's talented freshmen. They're earned it.
John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were both named to Sporting News' all-freshman team, along with Kansas' Xavier Henry, Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors and Arizona's Derrick Williams.
Wall (16.8 points, 6.2 assists a game) and Cousins (15.6 points, 10.1 rebounds a game) are the Wildcats' top two scorers and offensive threats. As freshmen for a 29-2 team that's one of the favorites to win the national title, that's no mean feat.
And though Cousins is the more efficient player, Wall received freshman of the year honors from SN. Apparently, it was an easy choice because of the things Wall does that doesn't show up in the box score.
He's the game's most explosive sight, capable of jaw-dropping moves that other players simply can't do. They don't have his physical gifts, or his flair for the dramatic. Wall's hit game-winning shots, notched double-doubles in points-rebounds and points-assists and become the face of a program with tradition second-to-none.
Then, there's praise like this
Reggie Hanson and Mike Pratt, both members of UK's 1,000-point club, say he's the best player to wear Kentucky blue since Jamal Mashburn. "He's able to take over when he wants, and, at the same time, make everyone around him better," said Hanson, now an assistant coach at South Florida.
That includes guys like Ron Mercer, Tony Delk and Derek Anderson, no slouches themselves.
There'll be some who think Cousins was the more deserving candidate, but Wall's the correct choice. Yes, he had a rough few weeks that probably cost him national player of the year awards, but the guy's been brilliant. He simply does things on the court I never knew were possible.
How do you side against that?
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