BGTD: Maui Musings, Superlatives

Posted by rtmsf on November 24th, 2011

We were going to drop this into our Maui Musings, Act IV, but figured it’d be better served as its own post, so bear with us. Here are some superlatives from three days and nights on the beautiful west side of Maui…

Duke Blue Devils: Five-Time Maui Invitational Champions (Kemper Lesnik/B. Spurlock)

This year’s Maui Marvels:

  • 2011’s Kemba: Thomas Robinson, Kansas. Everyone who follows this game had an idea that Robinson was capable of putting together a monster junior season, but not many folks had seen it happen yet. After three games where he averaged 17/12 and shot 50% from the floor, most of America has now seen the leap.
  • Improved NBA Stock: Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee. Before his Achilles injury on Wednesday, Maymon became the first player to record a 30/20 game in college basketball since Blake Griffin did so in 2009. As in, the overall #1 pick in the NBA Draft, and last year’s Rookie of the Year.
  • El Busto: Josh Smith, UCLA. Looked and played like he was overweight all week — KU in particular made him look foolish (one point, five fouls). Consensus is that he has serious talent, but will waste his career unless he gets the pounds under control, stat.
  • Serious Soul-Searching: Josh Pastner, Ben Howland (tie). Perhaps more was expected out of Memphis this year, but Howland’s team has no team chemistry and plays like a low-major. Pastner’s players are talented but often appear to have no clue how to properly run a set or play the game in a structured manner.
  • Fan Award: Kansas. Said this before, but we didn’t think Kentucky fans last year could be outdone, but KU fans this year did just that.
  • Best Cheerleaders: UCLA. Only one of two schools that brought them, along with Kansas, but let’s be honest here. Every team could have brought a traveling road show of dance teams, cheerleaders and yell squads, and it wouldn’t have mattered. This was the biggest mismatch in the entire Maui field this year.
  • Best Threads: Georgetown. The Hoyas’ gray jerseys are still awesome, even after all these years. If you looked closely, you could see a little bit of Patrick Ewing in Henry Sims’ 6’10” frame. All he needed was the gray undershirt.
  • Best Celebrity DadTim Hardaway, simply because he appeared the happiest to be there watching his son play basketball. Dell Curry and Doc Rivers were also there, but perhaps befitting their other jobs, didn’t seem as excited.
  • Honeymoon Award: Duke Couple. Hey, if you can drag your new wife to a basketball tournament in Hawaii, of all places, and she’s good with it… well, that’s a relationship that seems destined to work.

Congrats, You Two...

Maui Stock Watch. Here’s a quick evaluation of each of the seven D-I teams based on what we viewed this week.

  • Michigan – clearly better than most thought they were; have the pieces in place to make a run at #2 in the Big Ten; probably a Sweet Sixteen team
  • UCLA – almost no chance this team recovers this season — no postseason
  • Kansas – KU will win the Big 12 for the eighth time in a rowElite Eight caliber
  • Duke – the Devils will lose 3-5 games and push Carolina in the ACC — Elite Eight caliber
  • Georgetown – will finish in top half of Big East and sneak into the NCAA Tournament
  • Memphis – still the class of C-USA, but looks like a Third Round team to us
  • Tennessee – will surprise in the SEC race, and sneak into the NIT in Cuonzo Martin’s first season

Fan Base Evaluation. We spent a lot of time viewing and being around the eight fan bases at the Maui Invitational this week. Here’s how we would stereotype each one in three words or less:

  • Michigan – Michigan 24/7
  • UCLA – wine and cheese
  • Kansas – vociferous and passionate
  • Duke – entitled but knowledgeable
  • Georgetown – urbane and polished
  • Memphis – loud and proud
  • Tennessee – lots of orange
  • Chaminade – the dream’s alive

Finally, here’s the video of Coach K and his team accepting their trophy for winning the Invitational. See you next year, when North Carolina and Butler headline the field.

rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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