Sunday, January 27, 2008
In December 2007, Chicago wunderkind Lupe Fiasco released his sophomore album, "The Cool", a great album from top to bottom. Though it may have some missteps here and there, every verse of every song should be treated as a potential masterpiece.
Coincedently, five weeks later, fellow Chi-town prodigy Derrick Rose, aka The Cool, may have put together his own masterpiece. His 19-point, 9-assist, 8-rebound game (along with Chris Douglas-Roberts' team-leading 21) in Saturday's win over Gonzaga went a long way in justifying the already lofty expectations that came with him to Memphis from the Windy City.
For about a year, The Cool (which he will be referred to until further notice) has been touted by scouts, analysts, experts and fans alike (including myself) have sworn on a stack of SLAM magazines that he will not only be a surefire lottery pick this June, but will undoubtedly be a top 2 selection.
It all started for me with the ESPN-televised showdown he had with then-top junior point guard Brandon Jennings and the number one ranked Oak Hill squad. As many of you may recall, The Cool put up 28 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists in front of the whole nation, solidyfing his position as the top pg in the '07 class and a big reason why Memphis would be number one (which they now are).
Though The Cool has struggled at times during his freshman season at UM (six games with single-digit points and seven games with more turnovers than assists - 1.47 assist/TO ratio), he has also shown those flashes of brilliance that will make sure the Commish calls his name very early this summer. In his first collegiate game, he had 17 points, 6 rebounds and five assists next to only one turnover against UT-Martin. The next game he had 21 against Richmond (gaining him the Coaches vs Cancer Memphis Regional MVP). Then there's the 24 points vs UConn in the Garden, the 19 points and 12 dimes against Austin Peay, the 26 point outing (with five 3s) at Cincinnati, and the 18 and 6 dimes against the then-number 4 ranked Georgetown Hoyas. All with the same cool expression on his face.
Numbers like those - especially Saturday's near-triple double vs Gonzaga - are why he gets (prematurely) compared to Jason Kidd. Those numbers should also have fans and scouts alike from the Knicks, Heat, Sonics, Clippers, Wolves, and Sixers drooling and praying for a miracle come May.