The pride of Fitchburg, MA. Sort of.
I’ve recently noticed that people don’t talk about Michael Beasley like he’s a sure thing or really all that special. The strange part is that he’s most definitely both of those things.
Ironically, the person his game may most closely resemble, in terms of position and numbers, is his former AAU teammate Kevin Durant (Can you even imagine those two together?!?!). Last year’s runner-up to Greg Oden as the first pick in the draft was one of the most balleyhooed freshmen of all time and a guy looked upon as a building block with the talent to one day become the best player in the entire league.
I haven’t heard any such talk with Beasley. In fact, people like to call him “risky” and to say he has a “troubled past” when both statements are much closer to false than they are true. Beasley has never been arrested, never hurt anyone, and has displayed an incredible array of skills this season at Kansas State. The combo forward can shoot it up from deep with his sweet lefty stroke or take his man to the blocks and score with ease.
Kevin Durant’s numbers last year were remarkable: nearly 26 points, 11 rebounds, an assist, and just under 2 steals and 2 blocks per game.
Michael Beasley’s stats are actually even more astounding: 26.3 points, 12.3 boards, 1.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.7 blocks. He’s also doing all this at a 53.6% clip from the field, 76.8% from the line, and 39.6% from three. Factor in his NBA-ready body–6’9″ or 6’10” depending on whom you ask and 235 pounds of muscle–and you’ve got a guy who will be a centerpiece for one lucky team for a decade. Beasley’s arrival could take a team like the Timberwolves from 20 to 30 wins instantly, with 40 and 50 rising on the horizon.
So look out tonight, because a certain Notre Dame Prep alum wearing purple and black just might bust your bracket en route to shaking hands with David Stern June 26th at MSG.