Everyday I will give a new reason to be pumped for the upcoming college basketball season. We are about 78 days from the start of meaningful college basketball.
Today's reason to be pumped for basketball season: 7'8'' UNC-Asheville Center Kenny George.
Reason number 78 goes straight to the man who is well seven feet eight inches. Kenny George quickly became a national celebrity among sports fans for his gigantic size.
George is the tallest player to compete in an NCAA game and wears a size 28 shoe which is believed to be the largest shoe of any basketball player in the world.
Kenny George also has one of the weirdest stat lines in college basketball. He plays just under half the game, but accumulates impressive numbers. Extrapolate his numbers over 40 minutes and George would average 25 points, 14 rebounds and 6.5 blocks per game, but his large frame keeps him to just 20 minutes a game.
When using Ken Pomeroy statistics, Kenny George is third in the nation block percentage at 17.3%. This means George blocks more than one of every six two-point shots the opposing team takes when he's on the floor. His presence on the floor forces teams into more three point shots.
George is also seventh in the country in pulling down the highest percentage of defensive rebounds. When the gigantic center is on the floor, 30% of the opposing teams misses end up in his hands.
George burst onto the scene January 9th, 2008 when his unknown UNC-Asheville Bulldogs challenged heavyweight North Carolina. Asheville was coming off a win over another BCS conference team at South Carolina.
The Asheville-North Carolina game represented one of the best story-lines of the year in sports: David vs. Golaith. Kenny George had the size of Golaith but the standing of David.
Asheville and the very slow to get up-court, George couldn't keep up with the Tar Heels pace falling behind by 13 at half. George still had a solid game, playing about five more minutes than average and recording a double-double.
George did record a lowlight in that game when as Kenny George claims, Tyler Hansbrough became the first player to ever dunk on George.
But that was the past and George will be back for one more season. He'll have one more season to show off his 93 inch wingspan. He'll have one more season to wow college basketball fans across the country, but he won't have much help.
Three of the top four Bulldogs (Bryan Smithson, K.J. Garland, and Vincent James) in percentage of minutes played during season graduated and accounted for 40 points a game.
It will be tough for Kenny George and his teammates to repeat their 2008 success which saw UNC-Asheville receive their first NIT berth ever.
While the Bulldogs may struggle in 2008-2009, they will still have several shots to slay the giants of the game.
Kenny George will get his rematch with Tyler Hansbrough on November 30th and another shot at Tennessee who defeated Asheville by 13 last year on December 3rd. Later in December, Asheville take on perennial powers Duke and Ohio State.
So reason number 78 you should be pumped for basketball season is when 7'8'' Kenny George gets four shots to taken down four giants of the game.