I wonder how many other people besides myself bothered watching a game between a 7-5 Nevada Wolfpack team and the #1 team in the nation, the UNC Hansboroughs.
If anyone else did, you may have noticed a young man playing in the middle for the Wolfpack, who had graduated their most impressive center in a long, long while in Nick Fazekas. Their new big man is a young man by the name of JaVale McGee.
And yeah, UNC handed Nevada their asses in the second half (to be fair, the end of the first half is when the dam broke). UNC lost a junior guard/"glue guy" in Bobby Frasor. How Frasor and his 3 points a game merit the first 5 paragraphs in this AP report, I'm not exactly sure. The upshot of the injury is that Ty Lawson, a far more talented, and younger by all of one year, player will be getting more time. I think UNC will be OK.
To me, the revelation of the game was JaVale McGee--he's 7'0" wiry, athletic, with a longer wingspan than 7 feet. Fearless on the boards, great around the basket, willing to shoot the 3. He's only a sophomore, and probably has some weight to gain to really bang with the boys in the paint. He also need to work on his consistency at the line. But he's impressive. I saw him put the ball on the floor, and dish inside to his power forward for an easy basket. Against UNC. On the year, he's close to averaging a double-double.
Remember that name. The courtside guys were talking about how McGee has got pro scout's antennae buzzing. In a world gone crazy, where Joel Pryzbilla was in the top 10 players drafted his year, McGee is already a lottery pick. This kid, at 19, could school the current Pryz in one-on-one, no doubt. That's not saying much, I know. But still. He's good. And his mom is the apparently legendary woman's player Pam McGee.
It may be this year, or maybe next, but soon, people will be talking loudly about how good JaVale McGee is. Don't be surprised when they do.