The UConn Huskies Should Pray for a Lockout If They Want Kemba Walker to Stay
Rarely would anyone hope for a lockout to actually happen. It hurts the players, it hurts the league, it hurts the fans. However, there is one situation where I hope for a lockout, and that is when it comes to Kemba Walker.
Kemba led the UConn Huskies to one of the most improbable runs in NCAA basketball history this past season.
After finishing a so-so season at the back of the Big East, Kemba lead the huskies like it was the great Iditarod, and won five games in five days to be crowned the Big East Tourney champs, and that was only an appetizer.
Next, Kemba and UConn trampled through team after team until they finally cut down the nets. It may have not been the story every fan wanted, but it was a great story nonetheless.
Relying heavily on freshman players, such as Shabazz Napier, Roscoe Smith and Jeremy Lamb, Kemba did more with less than just about any team in recent history.
Let's back track a little. UConn was un-ranked in the preseason polls. Probably wrong, but not a huge deal. Only 25 teams really matter after all. Easily the more shocking, and surely more ludicrous, was not having UConn in the 68 team tournament according to Sports Illustrated magazine and plenty of other sources.
From day one in the Maui tournament, to Manhattan, all the way to Houston, Kemba Walker proved why his Huskies were worthy of a top 25 ranking all year.
Would the Huskies repeat if Kemba stayed?
Back to my point. Kemba Walker is the heart and soul of this team. If an NBA lockout were to happen, Kemba would surely stay. He still has one year of eligibility left, and he would not hesitate to use it.
If Kemba stayed, the Huskies would be the easy preseason No. 1. Also, they would have to be favorites for nearly every award possible. Big East regular season champs, tourney champs, NCAA champs, and Kemba Walker as Player of the Year.
He was snubbed this year, and I can assure you he won't be snubbed two years in a row. Even for those of you who argue Jimmer Fridette deserved the award, we can agree to disagree, but there wouldn't be another player next year more worthy of the award.
Assuming Kemba had another year anywhere near what he had this year, it would only help his draft stock. A player like Jimmer, for example, would have to find a new venue to play in. Perhaps he could go to Europe, but it would be tough to say how that would work out for him. He may excel, which he likely would in that style of play, but he would definitely fade into the shadows of Kemba Walker and the Huskies.
So, not only would Kemba benefit from this, in that he would likely win another NCAA championship and probably player of the year, but his teammates would thrive and learn as well.
Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb would be able to continue to learn and improve with Kemba on the court, and it would allow them more time to grow before having to take on the weight of the team's backcourt on their own.
It may be wishful thinking, but it's definitely not impossible.
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