The New Bash Brothers
Lost in all the hoopla of Tuesday night was the inspired commentary of one
Jay Williams. Mr. Williams delivered what might be the single most jaw-dropping preview to the UK-Florida game. What follows is what the man said just before tip-off:
"Well, I think there are two things that Florida needs to do to win the basketball game. Number one, they need to force Kentucky into a fast style of play. Turn the ball over. Number two, really get up underneath John Wall. Really force somebody else on Kentucky's team to beat them."
Whuh? We have one of the fastest point guards in the country who plays on the court with one of the other candidates for fastest point guard in the country and Jay Williams suggests Florida get into a "fast style of play"? Georgia almost beat us by slowing down the pace and forcing us into a half-court game. Louisville did the same, but the Duke grad thinks the key to success for the Gators is to make UK play a fast style. Mr. Williams sports a bold opinion.
At half time, here is what Jay said:
"The one question I have for Florida is that you do not get into a run and gun game with Kentucky. They just have too many horses. At the beginning of the game, you took your time. You got into your half court sets and that's where you are able to be efficient. Alex Tyus made some buckets. You were able to get some easy buckets at the hoop. But still, when Kentucky gets out in transition, they are a very dangerous team. And for John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, I mean just killing you in transition, they have already combined for twenty. Three. Points. So you gotta take care of the basketball. . . and you gotta rebound."
Come again? So, to recap, pre-game Jay Williams thought Florida should force Kentucky into a fast style of play while half-time Jay Williams admonishes Florida for getting into a run and gun game. I think we can agree, that is a serious about-face that would even confuse the likes of Gary Busey.
I know Jay likes to change his name around, so maybe he likes to change his personality around, too. Maybe it was bizarro
Jason that snuck into the studio and took over analysis duties right before the game and real Jay came in during the game and defeated him in an epic battle or something.
Look, this is why so many fans harbor such disdain for these talking heads. Anybody that comments on basketball games for a living should, ya know, watch basketball games.
Nobody that has seen UK's last 5 games would ever say that Florida's shot to win was to force Kentucky into a fast style of play. This sequence makes me believe one of two things:
1) Jay Williams doesn't watch basketball and just reads what somebody wrote for him to say
2) Jay Williams is an idiot.
If either is the case, why is ESPN paying him money to tell me anything? He has zero credibility. The only thing I can deduce is that companies like ESPN have dismissive contempt for the viewer and their memory
that rivals that of a politician. They believe they can just throw any jock in front of a camera, have him babble a few points, and the public is sufficiently entertained and informed. How else can you explain a sequence like this? We deserver better. ESPN could save a ton of money by just kicking the half-time and pre-game analysis to any fan and have them opine. At least "Is Ritchie gonna play tonight?" is funny.