Saturday, March 15, 2008
A Lion Born Lame, Held In Destiny's Hand
I find it hard to describe how much I love Sundiata Gaines. He's been, for years, one of the best players in the SEC - and one of the most underrated, within the conference and nationally. He's the "scrappy" kind of player that white people love, except that, oddly, he's not white. He's a great passer, not very athletic, and is hard-nosed, whatever that means - I think it means he fouls a lot. In fact, he may be the first player in tournament history to foul out of two games in one day, but we'll see. (Edit: Yep.) Apart from that, his biggest problem is that he plays for Georgia. And, frankly, Georgia is not all that good.
A common occurence, in Georgia games, is to see Sundiata drop a no-look, seemingly impossible, perfect pass to a teammate that has no idea what to do with it. The Bulldogs are just not very talented. It's probably a recruitment problem, but whatever the reason, they're not good. That's probably why Sundiata is so underrated; nobody pays attention to good players on bad teams, unless they're Michael Beasley. But in Sundiata's case, I think this deep run into the tournament - deepening as I type - may change that.
So, now that Florida's out and Tennessee got upset, I'm rooting for Georgia. Because, frankly, I dislike the rest of the SEC. I don't know why I like Tennessee and UGA, but despise Ole Miss, LSU, and Vanderbilt. (Well, no, I know why I hate Vanderbilt - they're a bunch of assholes, that's why.) I'm probably a bad fan in that way, that the teams I like after my favorite are my favorite's biggest rivals. I've liked Tennessee since the year before last, and watched them often. Bruce Pearl is a pimp and I like the way they wear their headbands. One of my favorite moments from last season was the UT/OSU game - watching Greg Oden guard Wayne Chism was like being witness to a humorous child molestation.
On a different note, one of the most interesting things about the postseason, I think, is the way minor players move themselves into the limelight. It happens at all stages of the game - Daniel Gibson, anyone? In this game, for example, Sundiata fouled out with more than seven minutes left in the game, and the other guard, Billy Humphrey, had to pick up the slack. I'm sure few people have ever heard of Billy Humphrey; I know I never have. But with UGA playing in the championship game as a six seed, and with Sundiata likely to foul his fouly self out foul again (foul) - kid's going to get national attention. I wonder why such things happen every year? It's a matter worthy of its own post. (That code for "I'm lazy".)
Did Vanderbilt get eliminated yet? I hope so. Jerks.