The SEC this season has been growing tall, athletic power forwards like cudzu in Eastern Kentucky. Whether it be Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas or Rekalin Sims (just making sure you are awake), it seems like every team has a power forward in the Kevin Garnett mold. MY favorite of these however has to be South Carolina big man, Renaldo Balkman. “Humpty Hump” as I like to call him, once again impressed tonight, leading the way for his Gamecocks as they knocked off the dreaded Louisville Cardinals in the NIT Semifinals (how is that whole SEC v Big East argument treating you?). Balkman had two tremendous dunks that will soon be on posters in Columbia and increased his visibility for the next level. If I were an NBA GM (and at this point I am not), with a late first round pick, Balkman would be on my radar next season.
But we should stop to take a moment to celebrate a truly remarkable story. South Carolina is on the verge of winning its second NIT title in a row…..a feat not done since 1943-44. Now many “nitpickers” would say that when it was done then, the NIT was a huge tournament, attracting the best teams and that winning the NIT now is not nearly as impressive. But I dont like those people and their promulgation of lies started by the liberal media. No, I am impressed by what South Carolina has done. It takes skills to be the 66th best team in the country two years in a row. Lesser teams would try to get better, maybe make the NCAA Tournament and go for a national title. But South Carolina is smarter than that. They know that being a ten seed and losing in the first round to Northern Iowa is not the role for them. They will underachieve all year, play against teams with less talent and take home NIT crowns to the 50 people who care about basketball in South Carolina. That is why they are special.
Look for Dave Odom to win NIT title # 3 next year and be rewarded with the loss of his job. But even if the haters in Columbia who think “making the NCAA Tournament” is important dont agree, we here at KSR Radio will celebrate the Gamecock’s Excellence in the Advancement of Mediocrity. Good for you Dave!
And if you were wondering what Antwan Barbour has been doing and dont read the Yakima Herald on a daily basis, then this article on his recent exploits is for you.