He wants to be the very best, like no one ever was
To get recruits is his real test, to coach them is his cause
He traveled across the land, searching far and wide
Each recruit to understand, the skills that are inside
TONY BENNETT...gotta recruit 'em all
He knows it's his destiny
TONY BENNETT...oh he's the Hoos best friend
And in his world you must defend...TONY BENNETT!
Hoos teach him and he'll teach Hoos......
TO-NY BENNETT.....TONY BENNETT
So Wake returns to action Wednesday night at home against the Virginia Cavaliers after taking a week off due to the quirks of conference scheduling when you have an odd number of teams. Virginia is ranked second in the country, but has been somewhat off their game lately - at least relative to themselves - and have been in a series of close games. This of course has resulted in a whopping total of zero losses due to the Cavs' ability to shut down opposing offenses seemingly regardless of who is injured and they were able to hold off FSU despite a freak accident involving two of their best remaining players (following Justin Anderson's finger injury several weeks ago) London Perrantes and Malcolm Brogdon.
Meanwhile at Blogger So Dear, ever ready to tackle the difficult questions, we've decided to breakdown a little film on the Cavaliers and see what really makes them tick. What makes their pack line defense so damn good? What enables them to come in night in and night out and continually slow the game down, dominate the pace of play, and frustrate their opponents? Finally, and most importantly, if each of the Virginia players were a Pokémon, which one would they be?
I know, I know. You're wondering at this point "man those first two questions just seem so obscure and abstract why would anyone care about that?" And we're right there with you, so we're going to skip straight to the heart of the issue: the Pokémon comparison.
Tony Bennett - Ash Ketchum
For starters, let's take a look at head coach Tony Bennett. Now he's clearly Ash Ketchum, the guy who single-handedly is able to juggle his Pokémon and ascend to the top spots of the Pokémon world. Bennett has taken a program which had proud days, back in the 80's at least with Ralph Sampson, but over the past couple of decades really fell into a period of well...irrelevance. Well they're back now and with a vengeance, primarily because Bennett seems to be able to take a squad of Magikarps and Weedles to the Elite (Final) Four. Of course Bennett's story is still unfolding so we'll have to see if he's able to replicate Ash's tenacity and ferocious training to reach the top, but so far he's looking pretty good.
Justin Anderson - Charizard
Without any further ado let's just jump into some comparisons and see where it takes us. We'll start with the most obvious of all the comparisons: Justin Anderson. Now there's a guy who is quite clearly our main man Charizard. The junior came on unbelievably strong his junior year and before his injury was just stroking the ball all across the court. He's 46 for 95 from behind the arc so far this season, a whopping 48%, and is just consistently on fire.
After spending his first couple years as Charmander and having Bennett make sure he didn't evolve until he was ready, Anderson skipped over his evolution to Charmeleon and went straight to CHARIZARD, the fire-breathing dragon of Pokémon lore. Of course Anderson won't be competing in the next battle because he was frozen by Black Ice and therefore is not able to play. Well...in the interest of full disclosure he actually has a finger injury and has been out for several weeks, but that's not quite as cool.
Evan Nolte - Slowpoke
Next up is someone who doesn't always get a lot of acclaim and only plays about 14 minutes a game. Despite actually playing getting double-digit minutes every game, Evan Nolte somehow manages to not record any meaningful statistics. He is currently averaging 2.4 points per game, 1.2 rebounds, .5 assists, and 1.2 fouls per outing. On a team that has made a national reputation for being slow, Nolte is likely the slowest of them all. And for that he is quite clearly Slowpoke. I mean seriously, Nolte's probably off loafing around somewhere right now infuriating everyone who is watching. Let's pour one out for our dude Slowpoke.
Malcolm Brogdon - Wartortle
Moving on to someone a little bit more...memorable and....quite frankly exciting, let's get a little comparison for Malcolm Brodgon. The guy is a defensive freak and an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses. He's basically responsible for guarding every team's best player and is a fantastic on-ball defender. While his offense has certainly improved (and his usage rate has been up since Anderson's injury), he still has a little ways to go on that front and is shooting only 33% on the season from outside. Due to his tendency to shell up opposing defenses and someone who has been improving offensively as his career has gone on it's only appropriate that Brogdon is in fact Wartortle. He's a lot better than Squirtle but he's gotta work on his shooting before he's full-blown Blastoise. This evolution may or may not occur during this offseason between his junior and senior year.
Anthony Gill - Gyrados
In the spirit of water Pokémon, we've gotta hit on the guy who has arguably been the best Cavalier all year so far: Anthony Gill. With a name like Gill, there was no chance he was going to be assigned anything other than a water type Pokémon, and fear not, he's a great one. With his rebounding ability and remarkable evolution from South Carolina to Virginia, it's pretty clear that Gill is Gyrados. While he wasn't necessarily as worthless as Magikarp when he was with the Gamecocks (averaging 7 and 4 as a starter) he certainly wasn't dominating like he currently does at Virginia. It just took finding the right type of coach to get him to level 20 and evolve fully into the Gyrados we all know and love today. I mean take a look at Gyrados and tell me that it doesn't strike as much fear in your heart as trying to stop Gill on the glass?
Darion Atkins - Diglett
Next up we have a guy who used to be hidden and has transformed into a bit of a solid contributor. If this guy could stroke it from outside (and it's quite fine that he can't given the other assets he brings to the table as well as being 6'8") he would be a more evolved version, but Darion Atkins is absolutely a Diglett. Seriously though, where did this guy come from? He averaged 10 minutes a game last year and hardly contributed and this year averages 23 minutes a game while chipping in an average of 7 and 6 in those 23 minutes.
Too bad thank goodness he doesn't shoot threes or he would definitely be Dugtrio.
London Perrantes - Sandslash
The second to last UVA player to be represented by a Pokémon is London Perrantes. Perrantes has done an impeccable job this year getting down the lane, scouting out other players on the team and dishing it out like ice cream to a tune of a 25.1% assist rate. This guy just knows how to penetrate and slash down the lane while kicking it out. Slash down the lane again, kick it out again. Slash and kick, slash and kick. So it's pretty clear that Perrantes is not just the primitive version of this Pokémon (Sandshrew) but the full-fledged thing: SANDSLASH.
Mike Tobey - Dewgong
Ah yes.....that brings us to our last Pokémon. We have indeed saved the best for last and in this case it is our good friend Mike Tobey. I'm sure most of you have been wondering how he fit into the entire Pokémon scheme and frankly it may be the only reason you're still reading this piece right now. That being said I think we all know where this is going and I think if we're all honest with ourselves we knew deep down which Pokémon Tobey is. And it's Dewgong. I mean look at these two guys:
I mean if Tobey isn't Dewgong then we can just stop this whole exercise right now because that would just be crazy talk.
So what do you guys think? Did we misrepresent some of the UVA guys as the wrong Pokémon? Which Pokémon would the good guys in the old gold and black be? Let us know in the comments and as always, go Deacs.
Note: if you have no idea what's going on, you may want to quickly skim the Pokémon Wikipedia page and then read the article again.