Today’s player ratings are a combined effort thanks to games in quick succession and a holiday in between. KU played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, home of the most generic team in NBA history, the Nets. I mean take a look at their logos over the years. That’s some really creative stuff there, Nets marketing department. Sheesh. Anyway, I decided to rate the players based on Nets players through the years, so here we go.
5 Stars: Dr. J
All right, this seems pretty obvious. While he only played in New Jersey for three seasons, the Nets cut down the nets (get it?) twice with ABA titles in 1974 and 1976. Dr. J averaged 27.4 PPG and 10.7 RPG in his three seasons with the Nets.
Dedric Lawson. A combined 50 points and 25 rebounds in the two games in Brooklyn (26/12, 24/13) and was the reason Kansas won these games. This is the Lawson that we’ve been wanting to see and hope to see for the rest of this campaign. His moves near the basket are about as sweet as they come.
4.5 Stars: Rex Walters/Jacques Vaughn/Paul Pierce/Billy Thomas/Tyshawn Taylor
This five-some could’ve probably won the Nets a title if they had played together. Who’s with me here? When Walters was drafted by the Nets, I immediately went and bought a Nets cap which in retrospect, was remarkably hard to do in Kansas City in 1993.
Devon Dotson. This guy is starting to find his groove. He drives the ball well and is distributing it well too. Twenty-seven points in these two games, but the tenaciousness offensively is what KU fans will love. Dotson seems comfortable driving into traffic and into contact. The most telling “stat” is that KU was at its worst on Wednesday in the first half against Marquette when he was sitting on the bench with two fouls.
Lagerald Vick had a combined 31 points in the NIT games and although he was a passenger for much of the game against Tennessee, that eight point spurt in the second was the difference between winning and losing. He’s really KU’s only outside threat right now, making this hot streak even more impressive.
4 Stars: Jason Kidd
I seem to remember Jason Kidd leading the Nets to a random NBA Finals appearance. That happened right?
KU probably wouldn’t have beaten Tennessee without KJ Lawson. The Memphis transfer was really useful in the second half against Tennessee and took all of Lightfoot’s minutes in that stretch. Finished that game with eight points and six rebounds after going scoreless against Marquette.
3.5 Stars: Dražen Petrović
Man, what a sad case this is. One of the best Nets of all time, Petrović averaged over 20 points per game in his final two seasons with New Jersey before dying in a car accident in 1993. The basketball arena in Zagreb, Croatia is named after him as are plazas throughout that country. Petrović really led the way for Euro stars to come to the NBA and is ranked highly here because of it.
Charlie Moore. He played 32 minutes against Tennessee and it was probably his best in his brief stint as a Jayhawk. Scored nine points and picked up the slack for Grimes.
3 Stars: Kenny Anderson/Stephon Marbury
These guys are basically the same in my mind, so they are perfect for the most average of spots, the three star location. And again, this might only be me, but both of these guys never quite lived up to their billing, although Marbury made some shoes that were affordable for everyone, so I’ll give him props for that.
Udoka Azubuike. Plagued by foul trouble for most of this tournament, some were iffy calls and some were just flat out stupid by Dok. Needs a confidence builder next week.
Mitch Lightfoot. Some might rate Mitch a little lower, but he’s not the focal point and when he’s the only big out there, Kansas struggles. Silvio DeSousa would be handy, wouldn’t he?
Marcus Garrett. Jacked up a few stupid threes against Marquette, but his on the ball defending in that second half was pretty important. He sat out the second match with a head injury.
2 Stars: Random Missouri Players
This is a KU blog, so these guys are rated low. Keyon Dooling and DeMarre Carroll both played/play for the Nets and are clearly no better that the two star rating they’ve received.
Quintin Grimes.Not the best outings for the freshman guard as he kind of fell off the map in these games. Most telling was the fact that Charlie Moore and KJ Lawson were getting his minutes at the end of the Tennessee game.
1 Star: DeSagana Diop
This guy came straight out of high school, flopped, bounced around the league, and made millions and millions of dollars while averaging two points and three boards in parts of 12 seasons. Would be the five-star if we’re talking about life goals, but this is based on basketball playing/personal favoritism, so one-star it is.
Fortunately, no KU player scored a one-star rating.
No Rating: David McCormack. Played a total of six minutes over the two games.