There’s been talk about how Kansas State’s second-round loss to the Wisconsin Badgers will hurt Michael Beasley’s draft status. Let’s just de-bunk this theory immediately with the case of Kevin Durant.
Durant was a highly-touted NBA prospect who tore it up during his freshman year at Texas. His freshman-loaded Big 12 team won their first-round game and then was eliminated after that.
Fast forward to this year and Michael Beasley. Freshman tearing up the season? 26.2 points, 12.4 boards, 1.6 blocks while shooting 53.2% from the field. Those points, rebounds and his field goal percentage better Durant’s, by the way. So did Beasley tear it up? Like Paris Hilton getting her credit card statement.
This season’s K-State team was essentially Beasley, Bill Walker (another promising freshman talent) and the other freshmen. K-State rookies accounted for 80.1% of their team’s points on the season. Granted, K-State does have a lot of freshman, but that’s still ridiculous. Beasley and Walker, alone, score 54.2% of the team’s points.
So let’s run through why K-State’s loss won’t affect Michael Beasley’s NBA draft stock. It all boils down to rationalization but that’s how NBA front offices work.
Let’s be honest: Kansas State was never expected to do much. Their game against Southern California was a toss-up but it wouldn’t have been disastrous had they lost. Thaddeus Young was a lottery pick after a first-round loss in last year’s tournament. Beasley and Young are basically the same type of player and supposedly have the same ceiling. Obviously, Beasley is much more skilled at this point but nevertheless. Beasley’s tournament games might as well have been ref-ed by his mom because he comes out winning regardless of the outcome.
Frank Martin’s menacing eyebrows and his X’s and O’s were left out to dry by Bo Ryan. Wisconsin’s Ryan had K-State’s head coach read like a People magazine in a plastic surgeon’s office.
And it wasn’t done without a lack of effort from the K-State players. Bill Walker straight-up balled in their second-round loss. Walker did his normal clean-up after Beasley routine. Beasley was in foul trouble, as usual, but he played enough to showcase his skills and grit agains a physically bigger, blue-collar Badger squad.
Athletic tweeners generally cannot hurt their draft stock with their tournament play. This statement may come as a surprise but height and hype does make up for lots of shortcomings. Blasphemy, I know. Just don’t tell my mama that I said that.
The B-Easy was able to propel himself into a consensus top 3 pick during the conference season. He displayed superior athleticism, an ability to hit consistently from the outside and a real mean-streak. Each of his rebounds made a noise on TV like he was Inspector Gadget inhaling the boards. Our expectations for him in the post-season play were slim to none and so he was able to coast. Word on the street is that he’s having a “tough” time deciding whether to make the jump to the NBA. I say go, go, go gadget flow.