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What They’re Saying About De’Aaron Fox’s Destruction of Lonzo Ball


After De’Aaron Fox killed Lonzo Ball’s college career, the national media is in a frenzy after the pregame expectations were flipped upside-down.  While the body is still warm, read all of Fox’s rave reviews.

SI’s Michael Rosenberg

De’Aaron Fox stood in a hallway, smiled, and said he wished he could play for Kentucky again in an hour. Lonzo Ball sat on a chair and said, in a monotone, that he will never play for UCLA again. The difference between them was just as stark as it had been during the game, when Fox and Kentucky dismantled UCLA’s Showtime Jr. attack.

CBS’ Matt Norlander

De’Aaron Fox – the most entertaining, blazing, promising Kentucky point guard since John Wall – had a legendary performance in Memphis in the South Regional semifinal. Fox proved, once again, that he – not Malik Monk – is Kentucky’s best, most valuable player. Lift the lid, inspect and you’ll discover this has been the case all season. Now, with America having watched one of the more dominant individual tournament performances in recent memory, most will come to realize it.

The Ringer’s Mark Titus

Ball deserves a ton of credit for UCLA’s resurgence in 2016—17, and the Bruins offense this season was nothing short of extraordinary. But holy hell, did he ever disappoint against Kentucky on Friday. It wasn’t even that Ball played poorly in UCLA’s 86—75 loss, because he didn’t. He put up 10 points, eight assists, and three boards, which is in the range of what he averaged all year. Yet that’s precisely the problem. This game was always going to come down to Fox versus Ball, since they’re the two lottery pick point guards who can rip off a highlight at any given moment. Fox knew this, viewed this matchup as a personal challenge, and was out there to ATTACK from the second the ball was tipped. He could get anywhere he wanted on the court, while Ball, who clearly struggles to stop explosive guards, went with the it-can’t-be-considered-failure-if-I-don’t-actually-try approach.

The Sporting News’ DeCourcy

It wouldn’t be hyperbole to declare that De’Aaron Fox blew Lonzo Ball off the floor with 39 points and four assists. Those were the most points ever scored by a freshman in an NCAA Tournament game. Think about that. Michael Jordan played in the tournament as a freshman. So did Magic Johnson and Steph Curry. But let’s not allow all that to get out of hand.

Yahoo’s Pat Forde

Ball’s very bad final night as a collegian did include occasionally grabbing at his hamstring during the first half and something close to a full-blown limp late in the second. He said he tweaked his hamstring early, but declined to play the excuse card.

“I got outplayed tonight,” he said.

There’s no doubt about that. Fox was phenomenal, scoring Kentucky’s first eight points and racking up 15 by halftime. Late in the second half he went into closer mode, taking the ball to the basket repeatedly, drawing fouls and making his free throws (13 of 15 on the night).

UCLA has been a soft defensive team all season, and Fox exploited that. The fact that the freshman from Houston is left-handed may have been left off the Bruins’ scouting report, because they gave him the drive to the left repeatedly. Fox tortured UCLA in pick-and-roll situations from the top of the key — blowing past Ball and other guards, then pulling up in the lane when the Bruins’ big men gave him room to shoot.

ESPN’s Myron Medcalf

(Magic) Johnson attended — and skipped the unveiling ceremony for Shaquille O’Neal’s statue in Los Angeles — to dissect the game of Ball, the West Coast product and projected top-three pick who could save the franchise from its ongoing misery in this summer’s NBA draft.

But Fox starred instead and complicated conversations about the best point guard in college basketball.

If a point guard must be the most important leader on the floor, then those attributes were more pronounced in Fox’s efforts than Ball’s.

The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore

The contrasting performances of Ball and Fox gave NBA evaluators something to mull over. Pelinka, newly installed as the Lakers GM, may be choosing one of the first players in the loaded, upcoming draft. He cannot comment on underclassmen, and he wouldn’t tip his hand, anyway. But the reason he traveled to Memphis was to see how top players perform against one another, and Fox thoroughly dominated Ball.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

8 Comments for What They’re Saying About De’Aaron Fox’s Destruction of Lonzo Ball

  1. runningunnin.454
    2:49 pm March 25, 2017 Permalink

    Brad Botkin of cbs sports said “Fox made Lonzo look like a sophomore called up from the junior varsity to be a varsity practice dummy”.
    Can’t believe he declared for the NBA after that game.

    • 4everblue
      3:11 pm March 25, 2017 Permalink

      The decision was probably not his but more likely his dumbass dad’s! Sad, I kinda feel bad for the kid…you can’t choose your father.

    • Mathlete
      3:26 pm March 25, 2017 Permalink

      Ball is still a guaranteed millionaire in a few months, he’ll be picked in the lottery because teams with lottery picks usually need a good point guard. That said, if anyone watched that and still picks him over Fox they’re insane

    • catsarerunnin
      3:35 pm March 25, 2017 Permalink

      Ball didn’t play hard last night….period. He didn’t view the game as an opportunity to improve his draft status. He knew he would he a gazzilionaire regardless of his performance. He was an one and done putting in his time. Fox on the other hand wanted to make a statement. But not to improve his draft stock. He wanted to prove he was the better player and that he played for the better team.

  2. Italy2013
    4:34 pm March 25, 2017 Permalink

    Agree with catsarerunnin….Ball might be okay if his dad would stay out of the picture and let his son play. Hate when parents interfere.

  3. dballrb
    5:02 pm March 25, 2017 Permalink

    The Ball’s already have money,they just don’t have 1 BILLION$s for a shoe brand,after last night, probably never will.

  4. henderblue
    5:19 pm March 25, 2017 Permalink

    Love what Mark Titus said”..Ball..went with the it-can’t-be-considered-a-failure-if-I-don’t-play-hard-approach.” Which is exactly true. Fox was brilliant and it was awesome to see Monk flinging 3s again. And making them. Carolina will try the same approach tomorrow and hope we aren’t making shots. And their bigs will go at Bam and try to get him in foul trouble. We just have to maintain the defensive pressure. We don’t match up well with Jackson but he is not going to beat us by himself

  5. BobNWeaver
    8:31 pm March 25, 2017 Permalink

    Does anyone else think that Ball is, like, a year older than he should be? His dad is the kind who would hold his kids back a year just to give them an advantage of being a year older when playing against their peers in sports.