Monday, August 13, 2007
Who You Got? Derrick Rose vs. O.J. Mayo
Last week I was watching ESPN when I looked down at the ticker and just missed something that looked special.
After sifting through 1,000 baseball scores, I caught it.
December 4, Jimmy V Classic, Memphis vs. USC, Derrick Rose vs. O.J. Mayo.
Two of the most hyped, talented, and anticipated incoming freshman in the country balling on top-ranked teams, against each other, in Madison Square Garden on ESPN, on the God MC's born day. Ugh!
D-Rose and O.J. went up against each other before in one of the best AAU games ever, but that was just a meaningless summer game. This is big. Big time.
I've come across a few message boards posing the soon-to-be very popular question, who is better out of the Chicago pg Rose or the West Virginia combo guard Mayo?
Let's break it down.
Athleticism - Young Pooh's rise has long been documented. He reminds you of a '98-'02 Steve Francis. Just explosive. He's cat quick and physically imposing for an 18-year-old. 6'3" and 200 lbs. Wow.
Outside of this highly publicized tidbit, Mayo isn't really that much of a athlete. His game is much more smooth. Speed and strength is also not his biggest draw, but at 6'5" and 210 pounds, he might not need much of it. ADVANTAGE: ROSE
Point guard skills - Rose is a pure pg who once won a state title in a game where he only scored nine points but completely dominated the game. In his much-talked about summer game against Mayo, Derrick had a triple-double...by halftime!
O.J. is a PG/SG who can play the position quite well, but works better as the finisher, not the passer. He also has been labeled as selfish by many people since he a freshman in high school. Not sure which position he'll play at Southern Cal, but for the Trojans' sake, they might want to take the ball out of his hands a little bit.
Star power - Mayo's been labeled as the next basketball prodigy since he was an eighth-grader, when he was touted as the "next Lebron James". His star has dimmed quite a bit as he has kinda failed to distance himself from the rest of his classmates, but O.J. is still ranked number in '07 by a lot of scouts, mostly on his name. The aforementioned dunk also kept his name on everyone's tongues and the story behind his commitment to SC confirmed he was a big name.
Rose is a quiet, humble guy who mostly lets his game do the jersey-throwing. He is coming in to school as the missing link to a team that made the Elite Eight, brings back seven of its top eight scorers, and is expected to be the preseason number 1 team because of him. ADVANTAGE: MAYO
Clutch - Derrick Rose stepped up big on national TV against the number 1 squad Oak Hill and 2008 top pg Brandon Jennings, putting up 28 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds in the win over the Warriors. He also hit a big time game-winning shot against 2008 star Tyreke Evans in a hyped-up AAU matchup.
Mayo's biggest shot actually came against Rose in their summer game last July. He famously missed the game-winning shot in the McDonald's All-American Game, prompting this rant from the Sports Guy. ADVANTAGE: ROSE
Pro potential - Both should be highly ranked coming out of college. Both will most likely be one and done. Rose is a 6'3-6'4 pure pg with amazing athletic ability, defensive prowess, and clutch mentality. Mayo is a 6'5 combo guard who has a tendency to play erraticly but still can get anywhere on the court he wants to. Mayo has a sometimes silky smooth jumper. Rose has a streaky shot that is improving steadily. Rose will play in a pro arena next year on a team that will be ranked number 1, play a top schedule, and is coached by a popular former NBA coach. Mayo will play in L.A. for one of the most prestigious schools in the country in a brand new arena. Mayo is touted as a future top 7 pick. Rose is viewed by most as the undisputed number 1 pick. ADVANTAGE: ROSE
Who's better? If you ask me, it's Derrick "Pooh" Rose all day, every day, and twice on Sundays.
But check out the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 4th and decide for yourself. I'm counting the days.