The 6 Coolest People in the 2010 NCAA Tournament
‘Check your ingredients before you overdose…on the cool.’
As March Madness officially gets kicked off Thursday at 12 p.m. ET, there will be some players, teams and coaches you aren’t quite as familiar with as you should be. Its cool, that’s what I’m here for. When you’re filling out those brackets, skipping work, or not going to class keep in mind these six folks listed below, trust me on this.
Tweety Carter | Baylor | Point Guard
First off, how can you not be a fan of someone named Tweety? The former McDonald’s All-American (and first ever McDonald’s All-American to ever sign at Baylor) has been a catalyst for change in Waco, TX. The 5-11 (more like 5-9) floor general from Louisiana finds ways to keep LaceDarius Dunn and Ekpe Udoh happy and keeps Coach Scott Drew’s strategies running smoothly. Plus…when’s the last time you saw someone WILLINGLY rocking a high-top fade?
Lavoy Allen | Temple | Forward
Lavoy, or as everyone in the Atlantic-10 (even though the conference has 14 teams in it) calls him, Mr. Double-Double, has quietly been wrecking shop in Philadelphia all season. Allen gives the Owls 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game and is the definitive force in the middle for a Temple team has achieved the highest seed (5) they’ve had since legendary coach John Cheaney was patrolling the sidelines. Allen finished 11th in rebounding and coach Fran Dunphy says that, “He might be the smartest player I’ve ever coached.”
Jon Diebler | Ohio State | Guard/Forward
With all of the shine Evan Turner has received this season in Columbus, don’t forget about the long range bomber from Upper Sandusky, Mr. Diebler. Diebler led the Big Ten (+1) in three-pointers made (5th nationally) with 104 threes made this season, plus contributing 13 points/game to a team who basically runs with a 3-guard starting lineup, all while Turner runs the point forward. “We feel we have one of the best backcourts in the country,” Diebler said. “It’s not cocky — we’re just very confident in our ability.” In by far the most loaded region (the Midwest) they’ll need all the confidence they can get.
Quincy Pondexter | Washington | Forward
No offense to the floor general from Chicago (Jerome Randle, Cal) but Quincy Pondexter got hosed for the Pac-10 Player of the Year award, and his play in the Pac-10 tourney let us know who the best player in that conference truly was. Q-Pon averaged 20 and 8 on a team, and in a conference that got zero shine this season (somewhat deservedly so) Pondexter found a way to help lead U-Dub to the NCAA Tournament. With the diminutive Isaiah Thomas (5-8) flanking him, the Huskies have become a team with their shoulders pulled back, chest out, and something to prove. Interestingly, the Huskies will go into their first round matchup against Marquette being the bigger squad, and the Vegas bookmakers have this matchup as a “pick-em” game. If you need a sleeper team to get to the Sweet 16, take a look at the boys out of Seattle.
Frank Martin | Kansas State | Coach
First off, have you ever been to the Little Apple? Excuse me, I mean Manhattan, Kansas? How this man has been able to get top talent into Kansas State is truly remarkable. (Actually, check that relationship with the DC Assault AAU team…three of the 12 players on the roster are from DC, plus previous recruit Mike Beasley is also from the DC area) Plus, have you seen Frank blow a gasket over on the sidelines? I honestly believe that dude’s face turned as purple as the warm-up jackets K-State wears before opening tip. Yet, the funny thing is…the players love Frank Martin. Martin lets his team play with a level of temerity that is appreciated by both player and fan. K-State can make a major run in this tourney, and they have the coach and players who might not know what pressure is. Syracuse…you better watch out.
Sherron Collins | Kansas | Point Guard
The 6th man, but really…he’s the coolest of them all. The Chi-Town Killa has the chance to leave his indelible mark on this 2010 NCAA Tournament. He might not be considered the best point guard, the best shooter, or the best passer in the nation, heck he might not even be the best player on his own team. But there’s no one who’s been bigger with the ball in his hand and the game on the line. Kansas will have to win the national championship on the performance of No. 4, and that would bring “The Cool” back to Lawrence one more time.
Eddie Maisonet is a freelance sports writer, blogger and big time hoops fan from Oklahoma who currently resides in Cincinnati. Keep up with Eddie at SLAMonline as well as his award-winning blog Ed The Sports Fan and on Twitter.