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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gary Parrish Is A Boss

I don't do link dumps on this blog and rarely will post about articles I've read because I started this as a place to write my own thoughts and ramblings on college basketball. But sometimes other people(read: professionals) come along and articulate an opinion better than you could ever hope to. Gary Parrish's column on Derrick Rose and OJ Mayo today at CBS Sportsline is terrific, maybe the best college hoops piece I've read this year and comes from a guy who is, in my opinion, the best college hoops writer on the Web. Obviously those two face off tonight in what could be a poor man's Bird v. Magic in 1979, the first meeting of a rivalry that will hopefully still be playing out 15 years from now (well second, as Parrish points out, they faced off in some summer game a couple years ago with Mayo converting a four-point play to win by one... seriously). And while what happens on the court will be breathtaking, what has happened off the court to produce this match-up should inspire apathy, not awe.

I'm not going to go over the whole column because everyone should really read the whole thing, but just be skeptical of what you hear about the two tonight. They are both ridiculously great players but, as I wrote today at CHN in my Freshman 10 column, don't think for a second that the "Memphis" or "USC" on the front of the jersey is more important than the "Mayo" or "Rose" on the back. And it appears that as we usher in the era of the one-and-done super-duper-star college players and the crazy recruiting protocol that comes with them, the name on the back must be more important. I don't think Rose and Mayo are conceited but these two freshmen are already bigger than the game and -- for better or worse -- they know it.

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