Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Let’s get this out in the open right away.  I hate Kentucky and I have little respect for the way John Calipari runs his program.  But I will throw out my biased opinion and tell you about my favorite player in college basketball not named Thomas Robinson.  He is a 6’7 freshman who plays with a reckless abandon that you rarely see out of a top recruit.  He also has possibly one of the coolest names in America too, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Kidd-Gilchrist has everything you want out of a wing player.  He has the size, name me one player in college basketball or the NBA that will be able to push him around, no not even you LeBron.  He has the shot; he is shooting close to 40% from 3 this year.  He can drive to the hoop better than almost everyone in college basketball.  He rebounds like a power forward and yet he is only a small forward.  He is shooting well over 50% from the field and is the second leading scorer on a loaded Kentucky team.  And we haven’t even talked about potentially his strongest skill set, his defense.  He is an elite athlete who has the strength and quickness to defend anyone in the NBA.  But he also has the desire to defend and you don’t get that from everyone, let alone an 18 year old freshman. 

Check out this description from Chad Ford of  “No one did more to help their draft stock in the UNC game than Kidd-Gilchrist. His superb, physical, harassing defense on Harrison Barnes turned Barnes into a jump-shooter. Seeing Kidd-Gilchrist get into Barnes' grill won't come as a surprise to anyone who has followed his career in high school or as a freshman at Kentucky. He's long, athletic and absolutely fearless.”

He may not be the top prospect, but he will probably be a top 15 pick in this spring’s NBA Draft.  He isn’t like his teammate Anthony Davis or Harrison Barnes or the like who has unlimited potential but may or may not get there.  We know what Kidd-Gilchrist is, a high energy, strong, small forward who will give you max effort every single game.  My best comparison for him is a veteran Paul Pierce without the midrange game (yet).  Pierce ended up slipping to the 10th pick in the 1998 Draft and ended up being the 2nd best player from that draft besides Dirk.  Will the same happen for Kidd-Gilchrist?  I like my chances and cannot wait to follow his career.


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