About Last Night: Fab Freshmen
In case you were busy convincing friends and family that your Movember mustache should probably stick around through Mocember, here’s what you missed on sports on Tuesday:
- In a battle of the nation’s best freshmen, Jabari Parker outshone Andrew Wiggins, but Wiggins’s Kansas Jayhawks pulled away late, beating the Duke Blue Devils 94-83. Coming up with nicknames for the scintillating Parker is the task du jour for college hoops fanatics, so I’m going to throw a few out there; feel free to use any or all of them as you see fit. JaStarry Parker (Parker is a star). JaStarry Starker (seriously, the guy’s a star). JaBobri Barker (the price is right for Duke, as college athletes are unpaid). Jaleel Parker (did he do that?). Jab-Ari Gold (for the obvious crossover potential with the upcoming Entourage movie). JaBerry Parker (for the obvious crossover potential with the upcoming Jamba Juice movie … that’s still happening, right?). Jerk-bari Parker (for NC State fans). Jerk-bari Jerker (for UNC fans). JABARI PARKER! (for Dick Vitale). Jay Parker (it’s shorter to say Jay than Jabari). Danny Ferry (for people suffering from long-term amnesia). Shane Battier (for people suffering from mid-term amnesia and a rare disease that prevents them from differentiating between levels of raw athleticism). Jabari Plumlee (for people who don’t have time to differentiate between Duke basketball players). Mason Plumlee (for people who really don’t have time to differentiate between Duke basketball players). And finally, Marshall Plumlee (for people who really don’t have time to differentiate between Duke basketball players, but at least want to make up a fake Plumlee name … wait a second … Marshall Plumlee is real? What the hell, Duke?).
- In the night’s other marquee matchup, top-ranked Kentucky’s bevy of talented freshmen were not yet ready to overcome Michigan State’s experience, as the Spartans topped the Wildcats 78-74. “Now we play the waiting game with the computers,” said Kentucky coach John Calipari after his team’s loss. “But I don’t think we’re out of the title picture just yet.” An optimistic Calipari then added, “It’s always better, if you have to take a loss, to do it early in the season against a good opponent. Still, though, I really do wish there were some sort of winner-take-all showdown scenario to determine the best team in the land. Alas!”
- Jordan Hill recorded a double-double for the Los Angeles Lakers, who throttled the New Orleans Pelicans, 116-95, at Staples Center. The game was most notable, however, for Xavier Henry’s Jayhawk-on-Jayhawk demolition of Jeff Withey, who unfortunately now has to restart his life as a roadie for U2 under the assumed name of Jeff Withoutey.
- Major League Baseball named its managers of the year, highlighting the efforts of Indians skipper Terry Francona and Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle. These were both scientific choices made after looking at WARM (wins above replacement manager), with Hurdle posting an NL-leading 6.2 and Francona posting a 4.4 for an Indians team in need of a boost. The decision certainly wasn’t just sportswriters picking the managers from teams that unexpectedly made the playoffs. Nope. That definitely isn’t what happened.
- It took a shootout, but the lowly Buffalo Sabres grabbed a surprising 3-2 win off the Los Angeles Kings. “Oh, we definitely took them for granted,” said Kings winger Justin Williams after the game. “Yeah, we looked right past them on the schedule. We were taking things three, four games at a time. Gave about 53 percent. Left a whole lot of effort on the table.” Williams then smiled and added, “No regrets, though! We got to fly to Buffalo in November, so that was actually really nice.”
- Stephen Curry went for 25 points and eight assists as the Golden State Warriors blew out Detroit, 113-95, in Oakland. “Stephen …” called a spooky voice from the darkness of Curry’s bedroom hours after the Warriors point guard had fallen asleep. “Wake up, Stephen …” Curry bolted upright, teeth chattering, and whispered into the darkness, “Who’s there? Is it a ghost?” The voice laughed spookily and replied, “Yes! The ghost of passing past.” Curry pulled his blanket up to his chin and said, “I don’t understand! Leave here, spirit! Please!” But the voice did not leave, and instead replied, “Stephen … I, too, was once the point guard of an electric team in Northern California … we were the darlings of the sports world. Everyone thought we would win it all. But we did not. Stephen, I have a warning for you: Beware! Beware of Robert Horry!” Curry arched an eyebrow and called back, “Wait, is that Mike Bibby?” but there was no response, just the sound of footsteps running downstairs, and a car with the California license plate KNGB1BY pulling out of the driveway.