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A layup on the importance of John Wall

Bomani Jones02/08/10


Article written by:On3 imageBomani Jones


Beautiful people, it’s been too long. Since we last spoke, I got a fancy new radio show called “The Morning Jones,” which can be heard from 7-10 on Sirius 98, Hardcore Sports Radio. If you don’t have satellite, check out the page for the show. And if we need to make it easier, you can subscribe to the podcast at the iTunes Store.

I’ve seen things have been going well for Big Blue. Glad to see it. To be honest, you guys had started bringing down my mood. Now, you just make me smile. Sometimes because I’m laughing at you, but it’s in love, I promise.

And, to show my love, I figured I’d write about how good Kentucky is and how bad North Carolina is. I find that topic is a hit with the faithful.

There’s been quite a reversal in the last year. As many of you know, I live in Durham, NC, knee-deep in the ACC basketball that gets on so many of your nerves. This time last year, I was in the midst of a UNC title run while Kentucky wondered if it would make the tournament.

Back to now, and it’s the reverse…except UNC is worse than Kentucky was last year. At least UK fans were sure they would go to the NIT. That seems almost impossible for UNC at this point, which took a 20+ peterrolling from Maryland, and that wasn’t even the worst loss for the Tar Heels in the preceding seven days. Really, it’s that bad.

What’s trippy about this is that we all knew UK’s reversal of fortune was possible. Even had Cal not come bearing five-star recruits, one could see Kentucky at least becoming competitive this season. But goodness, who ever saw UNC getting this bad?

It can be explained, but only somewhat. Injuries were a big part of the team’s slide. Otherwise, there’s zero explanation for how this team could possibly beat Ohio State on a neutral floor or Michigan State at home.

Then there’s point guard.

Bottom line on why UNC’s so bad and UK’s so good this year? John Wall plays point guard for one of these teams. Larry Drew plays for the other. That’s not everything, but that’s about it.

Enjoy it, Big Blue. You know better than anyone the fleeting nature of fun in this game, especially when talent moves through a revolving door. But it’s too rare to see one Cadillac program to back to the top, one to the bottom, and there be one player right at the center of it.

And you’ve got that guy on your roster.

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