Last night, the Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Arizona Wildcats in overtime. The win sends Bo Ryan's team to Dallas next week for the Final Four, as well as sending any Badger fan within ear shot of you into a complete and horrible frenzy. And that's if they *DON'T* know you're a Marquette fan.
So it's going to be a long week. Never fear, I've come up with a way to resolve the internal loathing that you're going to feel until either Kentucky or Michigan come away with a win on next Saturday evening. Tragically, most of you reading this aren't going to like it, nor do I blame you for thinking that.
We have to cheer for Frank Kaminsky.
This may require wanting Wisconsin to reach the national championship game.
//runs for cover
HEY I SAID YOU WEREN'T GOING TO LIKE IT STOP THROWING THINGS
According to KenPom.com, Frank Kaminsky is the best player in the Big Ten and the 7th best player in the country. But as a junior that's played more than 350 minutes for the first time, I don't know how well he's grabbed the attention of NBA scouts and general managers. As of right now, Draft Express only has him listed as the 48th best prospect out there.
Kaminsky's averaging 14 points and 6 rebounds for the season, but he's raised his game in the NCAA tournament, boosting his scoring up to 18.5 per game. Kaminsky shot 38% from behind the three point arc for the season, but he's only hitting on 31% of his attempts in the tournament.
Now stick with me here: If Kaminsky has another big game against Michigan/Kentucky on Saturday, say 18 points, 6 rebounds and hitting 40% of his threes, this could build enough good will with scouts that it makes sense for him to skip out on his senior year of college. If Kaminsky plays great and Wisconsin wins, then he'll get another crack at having a big game on the biggest stage possible. If we can get two more 20 & 5 games out of Kaminsky, his NBA Draft future may be too much for Kaminsky to pass up.
And if Kaminsky leaves school early for the NBA Draft, then Marquette gets to avoid playing a fully armed and operational Frank The Tank this coming December. Back in December, Kaminsky went for 17 points and four rebounds in 24 minutes against your Golden Eagles, but he only played eight first half minutes after picking up a foul just two minutes into the game. Dodging Kaminsky would be a fairly big deal for MU, as the odds are that Luke Fischer will not be eligible for next season's game against Bucky, making Steve Taylor the tallest returning player on the team. We still don't know what's going to happen with all of Marquette's recruits at this point, so it's hard to say what's going to happen with 7-footer Satchel Pierce. Marquette's going to have a hard enough time defending Nigel Hayes next season and defending both Hayes & Kaminsky without any legitimate size on the team won't be fun.
To summarize: Cheer for Frank Kaminsky to play well for the Badgers so he can't pass up NBA money and thereby give Marquette a better chance at beating Wisconsin next season. No, it's not a very good plan. But when we're dealing with this reality:
So #mubb isn't in the tourney, buzz bolts to VT, we get turned down by Shaka and Wisconsin is in the final 4. Worst. March. Ever.— Ryan Clancy (@ryanclancy11) March 30, 2014
Then we'll take whatever silver linings out of this that we can get.