From: United States
Went to the Champions Classic last night. Awesome event. I've been trying to go for the last 3 years and it finally worked okay for me time-wise. Duke will be very, very good. Okafor is already probably the best player in the country. He's just so effective and efficient down low. Gotta feed him. When Duke went away from him, they got in trouble in the offense. Every time Coach K has a true stud bigman they have their best teams because it opens up the outside for the shooters. I'm a huge, huge Justice Winslow guy too. He's already my favorite player on this year's team. Hell of an athlete but unselfish and loves to play defense. Reminds me a lot of Andre Iguodala. Duke will certainly be in the mix this year for the title.
But I must say Kentucky was impressive as hell. I don't think the talent is unbelievable (don't get me wrong; it's very, very good) but man, the sheer size is crazy. They have 3 legit NBA centers on their squad. I guess there was a stat last night that they're bigger than all but 1 NBA team. They just overwhelm with size. Made Alexander look skinny and small last night. They will be very tough to overcome. Their weaknesses are outside shooting and FT's, though.
I also will say that while I hate Kentucky almost as much as I hate UNC, their fans are easily the best, maybe in all of sports. It's just amazing how they travel. Granted they were a little closer than everyone else for this one, but it's been the same story in the others. You have 3 of the most storied franchises in college basketball with great fan bases in Duke/KU/MSU, and yet the crowd felt like it was 80% Kentucky. Gotta hand it to them.
You know me, not a Duke fan, but their inside/outside will be hard to deal with for just about anybody in the country. To be fair, MSU was a little shorthanded, but Duke looked really good. Okafor is a beast, and smooth as hell. I was impressed with how patient Tyus was too. Stayed in control. Added a little muscle. I love Winslow's game too.
Kentucky's size is almost nonsensical. They have a lot of work to do, but man, they like to protect the rim. Early on, I think they will struggle sometimes offensively.
That Kansas team is not good right now. I'm sure they will get better, but right now they are not a good team, and they played even worse than that last night. Perry Ellis did a disappearing act. I expected more out of him.