Men's Basketball

Mark Story: It's almost wall-to-wall Wall at mid-season

Here on the Red Carpet at the fourth annual Orange Globe Awards, we've had an unfortunate incident.

Kanye West has shown up, ripped the microphone from the hands of Joan and Melissa Rivers, and demanded that every one of my mid-season Kentucky college basketball awards go to John Wall.

OK, he might have a point.

BEST ACTOR

The nominees are:

DeMarcus Cousins. Kentucky's freshman big man has brought 15.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and Peter Parker glasses to Wildcats basketball.

Kenneth Faried. Bouncy Morehead State star was fourth in the nation in rebounding (12.7) through Sunday's games. He also had eight double-doubles and was averaging 16.2 points before Thursday night's game.

Patrick Patterson. Giving hope for an NBA future as a pick-and-pop power forward, the UK junior has added an effective mid-range jump shot while averaging 16.7 points and shooting 63 percent (fifth in the nation) from the floor.

John Wall. In just 14 games, the Kentucky freshman guard (17.2 points, 7.3 assists, 51.9 percent shooting) has hit game-winning shots, supplied enough "wow" plays to last a career, been on the cover of Sports Illustrated and launched a dance craze.

The Orange Globe goes to: John Wall.

BEST ACTRESS

Chynna Bozeman. Morehead State's junior guard was tied for the nation's lead in made three-pointers (54) before Thursday night's game. She was averaging 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and two steals.

Arnika Brown. The Western Kentucky forward was 17th in the nation in rebounding (10.5) and had six double-doubles.

Victoria Dunlap. Kentucky's junior power forward was in the top 31 in the country in scoring (24th at 19.2), rebounding (31st at 10), blocked shots (20th at 2.4), steals (third at 4.1) and field-goal percentage (17th at 56.6).

Monique Reid. Ex-Fern Creek star is not an Angel in disguise for Louisville, but the sophomore has been a standout (15.9 points, 8.9 rebounds) for her hometown school.

The Orange Globe goes to: Victoria Dunlap.

BEST 'SCORE'

Eric Bledsoe vs. Stanford. With UK clinging to a one-point lead in overtime, the freshman guard buried an NBA-length three-pointer — his only made trey of the game — with 33 seconds left to secure victory.

B.J. Jenkins vs. Eastern Kentucky. Murray State guard drained a jumper from the left wing with 2.4 seconds left to lift the Ohio Valley Conference co-favorites past EKU 62-60.

John Wall vs. Miami (Ohio). In his first college game, the UK freshman went the length of the court, rose up and hit a jump shot with 0:00.5 showing on the Rupp Arena clock to give the Cats a 72-70 victory.

John Wall vs. Connecticut. In his first game in Madison Square Garden, the UK guard made a hard drive to the bucket, hit a contested layup, was fouled and cashed the free throw with 30 seconds left to put the Cats ahead to stay (63-61) in what became a 64-61 win.

The Orange Globe goes to: John Wall vs. Connecticut.

BEST DRAMA

Basket-brawl. After months of hype about the first Kentucky-Louisville basketball game with John Calipari and Rick Pitino as opposing coaches, the actual contest featured five technical fouls, some ugly basketball and a hyper-intensity that bordered on malevolence.

Family Matters. With Samardo Samuels' relatives, including mom Jacqueline, making a rare visit from Jamaica to see him play, the Louisville big man had a career game (29 points, 15 rebounds) against Louisiana-Lafayette.

King of Music City. In the same place (Nashville's Sommet Center) where A.J. Slaughter had 25 points and nine rebounds last season to spark Western Kentucky past No. 3 Louisville, the WKU guard scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half to lead the Hilltoppers to an upset of No. 24 Vanderbilt.

Payback is Swell. Against North Carolina — the team he rooted for as a kid but also the school that chose not to recruit him — Kentucky guard John Wall overcame dehydration, cramps and his own needle phobia (for an intravenous drip) to contribute 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds to a two-point victory over the Tar Heels.

The Orange Globe goes to: A.J. Slaughter for King of Music City. Hey, Kanye would be insufferable at the After Party if we gave John Wall everything.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments