The Great Wall Of Kentucky: He Is Better Than Advertised

Kyle ThompsonContributor IDecember 30, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 29:  John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates during the game against the Hartford Hawks at Rupp Arena on December 29, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky.  Kentucky won 104-61.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

One of the hottest recruited high school basketball players in recent memory John Wall is the unquestioned leader of a 14-0 Kentucky Wildcats' team.  There is so much expected of this kid and he has not disappointed anyone.  This historic Kentucky program has been out of the spotlight for some time now and has been the Notre Dame of basketball.  With new acquisitions of John Calipari and John Wall, they are slowly bringing this once highly respected program back to the forefront of college basketball.  

There have been many superstars freshman to burst onto the scene since the NBA entry age has been changed.  Guys like Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo, and Jerryd Bayless, have made headlines from the first day since they stepped on their campus... but none like John Wall.

John Wall was expected to be the savior of a long time underachieving Kentucky Wildcats team and he is only 19 years old.  So far he has not disappointed.  Wall is on a team that has a lot of players with potential, but only one player really has experience and has already made a name for himself.  Patrick Patterson.  Patterson is a very good player, maybe even an All-American candidate, but besides that Wall is surrounded by a cast of mostly freshman who have a ton of potential.

Xavier Henry is an outstanding freshman (and player), there is no denying that but he is surrounded by guys like Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich who are perennial All-Americans and lottery picks in next years’ NBA draft.  Avery Bradley from Texas is also very good, but he has Dexter Pittman and Damian James, also perennial All-Americans and lottery picks in next years’ NBA draft.  Wall doesn’t have this luxury to play with multiple players with experience, lottery picks, and All-Americans.

I really don’t think I need to convince people that John Wall is amazing and most people probably believe he is the best freshman in the country.  John Wall is the best player in the entire country.  That may be a bold statement, but when you look at what he has done individually with all the pressure that is on him, he has surpassed expectations.  He is in complete control of his team and the game and is not seemed to be phased by anything.  He is as cool as a cucumber, when the game the line.  The game against Miami (OH) he hit the game winning shot; against UCONN at MSG (The Mecca of Basketball) a huge drive and 3 point play at the end of the game.  When his team needs him to step up he always makes the right play, whether it be taking the shot himself or creating for his teammates.

Whether you think he is the best player in college basketball or even the best freshman in college basketball (or disagree), I think we all can agree that it is a joy to watch someone of this caliber every time he steps on the floor.  Because whether he is on defense or has the ball in his hands he is special and we only get him at the college level for one year.  (Wall is the reason my pick to win it all is the Kentucky Wildcats.)