The Bilastrator has coined a new term: "Game pressure." During last weekend's Kansas-Tennessee game, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas repeatedly said that Kansas players were feeling "game pressure" when they stepped to the free throw line. Game pressure? As opposed to … practice pressure? As opposed to other kinds of pressure that you'd feel during a big game? Or a nationally-televised game? Game pressure? That's the best that you've got? Now, I was going to let this go, because I think I know what he means: "Game pressure" sounds like a specific kind of pressure that can't be replicated outside of a game. Young teams, perhaps, are particularly vulnerable to it because they haven't been in as many … games. Anyway, I was going to let it go until Bilas referred to Kansas guard Sherron Collins as "Lawson-esque" (as in North Carolina guard Tywon Lawson) and then predicted that Tyler Hansbrough will again be the national player of the year.
You mean Lawson is "Collins-esque," right?
Where was Lawson in the Final Four? I'll tell you: He was getting killed by Collins. If Collins played in the ACC, he'd be getting compared to Chris Paul. (I think he's more like Vinnie "the Microwave" Johnson). On that note, I hope that Bob Knight is going to break up the ACC-loving commentary cabal at ESPN. From the couple of games I've seen, he is made for TV. And he speaks to basketball fans, not just fans of the ACC. He's not afraid to say unpopular things; not a surprise. He's also likely to compare current players to non-ACC players (such as his Indiana players from the 70's), and he's completely at ease in dissing other talking heads. Is there some way that I can get his commentary on every game? Please?
Aldrich ruled Hansbrough in the Final Four. "But he just works so hard." Other athletic centers rule him regularly. "He doesn't take possessions off." The argument against him being player of the year is so strong; it seems almost silly to carry it out. Photo: Getty Images
I've got no real beef with Psycho T, as Hansbrough is known, but he is not the best player in the country. How could he be? Whenever he plays against anyone big and athletic, he gets killed. Yes, he brings it every night; yes, he leaves it all on the court. Dickie V loves it. All the older commentators love it. Who doesn't love a kid who plays hard every minute he's on the court? I love it. He's like Nick Collison. Nick Collison was awesome, but he was not the player of the year, was he? Would anyone argue that he was, other than hopeless Kansas loyalists? He was a good player on a great team. Like Hansbrough, now. Collison's problem was that he didn't play for the most visible program in the most over-hyped conference in the country. If Hansbrough played at Texas, he'd get compared to Collison all the time, and he'd be the feel-good choice for the Naismith. If only.