Words by Justin Walsh
Today, Derrick Favors will make one university completely, utterly happy. He could anchor the Wolfpack. He might guard the paint for the Bulldogs. He could hold the fort for Georgia Tech. Until his press conference, only three people know—his South Atlanta coach Michael Reddick, himself and an assistant. But nobody from any of the schools he is choosing from. So until 6:30 p.m. at ESPN Zone, let the speculation run amok.
Derrick Favors is a big man who loves defense. Last season, he averaged a ridiculous 9.1 blocks per game. No, 9.1 was not a typographical error. Although his blocks this season have dropped to 4.5, it’s not his fault. His coach pulls him early in the second half because they are dominating the other team by so much. Despite the drop in blocks, he still averages 29 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4 steals and 3.2 assists per contest.
Because of Derrick, South Atlanta doesn’t work on their man-to-man offense. Not because Favors can’t remember plays though. Nobody played their team man-to-man. They played packed in zones to double- and triple-team the All-American center. One team dared to buck the trend at the Bojangles Shootout in Charlotte, N.C. Derrick was completely at a loss for words when he was told Jeannette was going to go man-to-man and only cover him with one person—no double downs in the post. “I thought it was funny…I took it as a challenge,” Favors said.
What transpired was an outrageous, felonious triple-double of 42 points, 20 rebounds and 12 blocks. Derrick was 19 of 24 from the field. Who guarded Derrick? Enter Terrelle Pryor, starting quarterback at Ohio State (who was no slouch at basketball—he had a full ride offer at UNC). Derrick had out-bodied a 6-6 football phenom with ease.
He isn’t just a big-man with no athleticism. We’re not talking about Big-Baby Davis 2.0. In an official vertical-test by MaxPreps, he registered an astounding 39 inches. That’s higher than almost everybody in basketball. Beyond that, he holds a respectable 3.1 GPA in the classroom. His favorite subject is math. He enjoys dancing in the locker room and yearns to pattern his game after NBA star Tim Duncan. This cat is totally out of the norm. Whichever college Derrick decides to bring his massive skill-set and personality is officially one of the luckiest university’s in the nation. It’s also rumored that John Wall is weighing his college decision off of Derrick’s. If Favors goes to NC-State, John could follow. What a 1-2 punch that could be.
Again, until he announces his decision later today, it’s all speculation.
Note: On Jan. 15, Derrick Favors plays against Demarcus Cousins on ESPN2.