Kentucky took the best shot from LSU. However, there was someone on Kentucky’s roster who just refused to let the Wildcats lose.
It wasn’t the person many expected. However, he needs to be discussed as the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Freshman Karl-Anthony Towns hit the game-winning shot, grabbed the game-winning rebound and recorded a double-double.
Over the last couple of weeks Towns has shown his full ability, something that very few people in college basketball can do. At 7’0” he’s predominately playing in the post for the obvious reasons. He’s starting to show his polished post moves, whether it’s a jump hook or a quick move and finishing a layup. He can also step out and shoot with decent range. See the shot he hit against LSU with the game 66-60 and the shot clock at three seconds. Towns pump faked, took a step back and drained a jumper to turn the game around.
Now, looking at Towns’ stats won’t blow you away. He’s averaging just 9.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game while playing barely half the minutes. But, that’s the kicker. With Kentucky’s platoon system, Towns won’t play more than 30 minutes a night and therefore his individual stats will take a hit.
But, look at advanced stats. Per 40 minutes Towns is averaging 17.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 2.2 assists per game. Compare that to Jahlil Okafor, who many people believe is the clear cut No. 1 pick and is averaging 23.7 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1.8 assists per 40 minutes.
Now tell me, looking at that and the rosters on both teams, which player is more impressive? Isn’t it Towns? Not to mention he shoots 20 percent better from the free throw line than Okafor, plays much better defense and can step out past 10 feet.
Okafor is the definition of a true post player who can play in the NBA. But, isn’t Towns more the prototypical NBA player? His ability to stretch the floor and protect the rim is more valuable today than a traditional center.
The most important thing about Towns is he continues to improve each game Kentucky plays. On top of that he’s becoming the Wildcats’ best and go-to player. He continues to win games and while that’s somewhat of a subjective meaning, he’s a true winner.
So, James Dolan. Take a break from writing absurd e-mails to fans and do Knicks fans a favor. Draft Karl-Anthony Towns, a New Jersey native, and see the success he has in the pros.