In the past few seasons, a few writers here at the site have done a brief player ratings post. Well, I’d like to improve this type of post and copy a pretty successful formula from another SB nation site that I frequent, Cartilage Free Captain, SB Nation’s home for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club of the English Premier League. After each game, they rank the players’ performances based on some random, unrelated topic. Some examples include cartoon theme songs, Easter candy, and the Muppets. I spoke with one of the managing directors over at CFC and he graciously gave his permission to copy this spectacular idea for some of the biggest KU games of the season.
So, without further ado, here are the player ratings after last night’s 65-61 win over Kentucky to the theme of 80’s comedy sitcoms.
5 Stars: Cheers
Cheers really is the gold star of television series. It had its star in Ted Danson who played the all-American ladies man Sam Malone augmented by its lovable cast of Norm, Carla, Woody, and Cliff. It even lost its leading lady when Shelley Long left, but no worries, they replaced her with a comparable female lead in Kirstie Alley’s Rebecca. What’s more, Frasier Crane had his own spin-off which happens to be the most successful in TV history. Even the serious episodes were good.
No Kansas players were as good as the classic comedy Cheers.
4.5 Stars: Family Ties
The comedic genius behind Family Ties cannot be denied. Take an upper middle class family where the parents are former hippies (the dad works for the local PBS station) and throw in a card-carrying member of the Reagan GOP as their teenage son, and you’ve got a built in winner. Obviously Michael J. Fox was the straw that stirred the drink, but throw in Justine Bateman as Malory and the comedy gold flows. That said, I could do without Jennifer and especially Andy. Why did shows back then always have to try to introduce new blood after about the fourth season?
Unfortunately, no Kansas players could emulate the greatness of Family Ties.
4 Stars: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Perhaps we have a little controversy at 4 stars (could go higher and could swing lower), but I loved Fresh Prince, just not as much as the other two above it. Sure, the years when Will and Carlton were in high school were the best, but that show was really funny most nights. Most underrated feature: Will’s relationship with Geoffrey. And as for theme songs, this is the best one of all time.
Udoka Azubuike. Udoka bossed it down low last night, doing pretty much whatever he wanted whenever he got the ball. So it makes it even more mysterious why the Kansas guards tried to chuck it all night long when they had the big Nigerian down low all night. He went five of five from the floor and finished with 13 and eight.
3.5 Stars: Who’s the Boss?
Full disclosure: I loved Who’s the Boss? I think most of it was because pre-adolescent me was obsessed with Alyssa Milano, and I see no reason that this should not be reason enough to rank Who’s the Boss? this high. Yep, Tony is over the top annoying, but Angela and Mona were good. Plus, did I mention Alyssa Milano?
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. Yeah, he was 7-18 from the floor and 3-10 from three, but Kansas needed everything that they got from the Ukrainian. Those 17 points are likely not going to stand as his season high, but as far as importance goes, they might be the most valuable since no one else could score. He got two early fouls and stayed away from foul trouble the rest of the game.
3 Stars: Full House
Either you love Full House or you don’t. That’s why this particular rating system puts Full House squarely in the middle. Personally, I found the show stupid, but ask someone five years my junior and they probably liked it. But man, that thing had the worst laugh track. Anyone watch the Netflix sequel?
Lagerald Vick. Vick started off hot, but then kept choosing to take jumpers from one foot inside the three-point arc for some reason. He’d probably be lower on the list, but that rebound he scrapped for after his own miss set up the most important basket of the game. Finished with nine points and five assists.
Mitch Lightfoot. He did his job. When Udoka was exhausted, Mitch came in and spelled the big guy until the under four timeout. He didn’t commit a foul in that time, so it’s a win-win.
Marcus Garrett. Made one huge three and didn’t do anything to warrant a Who’s the Boss? Or more importantly, an ALF.
2 Stars: ALF
I loved ALF as a kid. Loved it. I tried sitting through an entire episode of ALF a few years ago, and I couldn’t even get through the first five minutes. Even now, when I flip through the channels and see ALF, I think, “Maybe, I’ll give that another try, it can’t be as bad as I remember.” It is. It’s worse.
Devonte’ Graham. It felt like Devonte’ was trying to push the envelope too much, trying to make everyone forget about Frank Mason right then and there. He had four turnovers in the first half and luckily, got that aspect of his game under control in half number two. Made a few free throws down the stretch to seal it, so there were a few positives.
Malik Newman. Like Devonte’, it seemed like Malik was trying to do too much. If there’s one team on the schedule this season that you shouldn’t try to go to the rim against more than a one v one situation, it’s probably against the lengthy Kentucky Wildcats. Newman did can that huge three with 2:06 to go that essentially wrapped up the game for KU. If this is his worst performance and KU won, I’m good with it.
1 Star: Small Wonder
Just read this premise straight off of Wikipedia: "The story lines revolve around V.I.C.I. (an acronym for Voice Input Child Identicant, pronounced "Vicky"), an android in the form of a 10-year-old girl. V.I.C.I. was built by Ted Lawson, an engineer/inventor for United Robotronics, in an effort to assist handicapped children. The robot is taken home by Lawson so that it can mature within a family environment. V.I.C.I.'s features include superhuman strength and speed, an AC outlet under her right arm, a serial port under her left arm, and an access panel in her back. Despite this, the Lawson family initially tries to pass V.I.C.I. off as an orphaned family member whom they eventually legally adopt as their daughter.” Somehow it’s even worse than that if memory serves. I won’t watch it to prove it, and you can’t make me.
Luckily, no Kansas player was as bad as Small Wonder.
Note: Due to Bill Cosby’s behavior, the Cosby Show was not considered for this list.
Note 2: As a few commenters have mentioned Fresh Prince originally debuted in 1990. Oh, well.
Oh, and if you like this kind of list/ranking system, go ahead and leave some topic examples for the next few rounds of rankings and I’ll see what I can come up with. I’m going to try to do this for the biggest games of the season: Syracuse, Stanford, conference games, NCAA games, etc.