A Rose by any other name...

In case you missed our NCAA hoops preview, remember the name Derrick Rose. He is the all-world freshman point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies and he is about to blow up. Remember it now, before his name starts appearing on lists with others like Durant, LeBron, Oden and Wade. Before Dick Vitale suffers a near seizure while singing the praises of this diaper dandy. Before he schools every point guard in Conference USA and beyond with his unique mix of athleticism, handles, lockdown defense, passing skills and high basketball IQ. Before CBS runs a pre-NCAA tournament profile on Rose’s life growing up on the mean streets of Englewood, Chicago. Before the millions in salary and endorsements. Before the bandwagon gets too full and you find yourself roughing it on the roof.

The question coming into the season about which freshman is better, Rose or USC’s OJ Mayo, may have already been answered. With two college games under his belt, Rose has left little doubt that the hype that followed him to Memphis was more than legit. Sure, the Tigers have only played Tennessee-Martin and Richmond, two teams that are about as anonymous as an undercover CIA agent, but Rose was the undisputed star in both contests. Rose scored 17 points to go with 6 boards and 5 assists in the first game, and followed that up tonight with 21 points on 6-8 shooting from the floor. If you’re interested in seeing the future, try to catch Memphis’ semifinal game in the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic tournament on November 15. And then tune into ESPN on December 4, when OJ Mayo and USC take on Rose’s Tigers in Madison Square Garden.

Though nicknamed “pooh” by his grandma (yes, the Winnie kind), Derrick Rose is all grown up. If Rose continues to play as he has these first 2 games of the new NCAA season, and perhaps even improves as expected during the course of the season, the Memphis Tigers could be hoisting the NCAA championship when March 2008 rolls around.


Anonymous said...

Rose is the TRUTH! I saw him play in AAU. He is a lot better than Mayo!

Mike said...

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Thanks and again good read.