As the anticipation of the 2010 draft looms over the NBA, most if not all the focus (Evan turner aside) has been placed on Kentucky’s lighting fast point guard John Wall, and all that he has done for the under experienced wildcats. Comparisons have been made to Chicago bulls point man Derrick Rose and even though it’s hard to argue the similarities in their games such as having the same college coach, close in height, blazing speed, amazing athleticism, dazzling handle, and the abilities to run a team like a true floor general at such a young age, while these comparisons are valid, to give the title of better college point guard to John Wall at this point is premature.
Winning, both of these players have done plenty of that. To that point Rose vs. Wall in terms of winning, Rose went 38-1 in his lone season as a tiger while Wall is presently sitting at 25-1. While some might say conference USA is a much weaker conference than the SEC, the level of competition during the 07-08 college season was much stronger than the current season.
Rose averaged 14.9 ppg (47% 2-pt field goal and 33.7 % 3-point field goal) and played for 29.4 min/game on a veteran-lead team while Wall is averaging 16.8ppg (46% 2-point field goal and 34.7% 3-point field goal) playing 34.min/game as the leader of his team. In the category of assists, Rose averaged 4.7 apg with a 1.77assist-to-turnover ratio. Wall at this point is doing slightly better in the assist department with 6.3apg with a 1.58 assist- to-turnover ratio. Rose averaged 4.5rebounds/game and Wall has 4.1rebounds/game. In Wall’s defense, he is on a much better rebounding team. Rose had1.2 steals/game and Wall nearly two with 1.9 thus far in his college career. Rose’s Memphis 07-08 team averaged 79.9ppg, 40.5rpg, 15.9apg while Wall’s UK team averages 80.4ppg, 42.3rpg, 15.3apg.
Given the statistical break down, one can see that their impacts on their respective teams are almost identical. A reason for their similarities can be attributed to the system Coach Calipari runs that suit Rose’s and Wall’s abilities to a tee, and because both these players possess the same skill sets that dominate the game. But the real test is not the regular season. The makings of a legend don’t come from February games against Mississippi State but rather in March when one player’s unstoppable rage to win rises to the occasion and captivates audiences from coast to coast just like what Derrick Rose. The clear cut favorite for the number one over all pick was Michael Beasley before March Madness in 2008. After the tournament, Derrick Rose’s performance pushed him to unanimous first over all selection. Although the Memphis Tigers lost in overtime to the Kansas Jayhawks, Rose’s skills could not be denied. During the tournament, Rose’s stats went up all across the board (20.8ppg, 6.5apg, 6apg, 3.2assist-to-turnover ratio) in six tournament games. Rose has shown the ability to rise above the occasion and carried the weight of his team on his shoulders. The tournament became a showcase of Rose’s hang time skills and strength that allowed him to take hits and finish; these are tools that Wall doesn’t have in his arsenal just yet. Maybe with strength and training he will make me eat my words. I would give the edge to Wall in the speed category end to end but not by much. Rose was a better college player and has over all more potential. But just maybe Wall can prove me wrong.