Sunday, March 18, 2007

Jared Dudley

One of the purest pleasures of Bay Area life in the early '70s, right up there with the sourdough bread, music, the fact Napa wines were still affordable, and the beautiful young women, was the opportunity to listen to the late, great sportscaster Bill King on the radio.

King did Raiders games and Golden State Warriors games, and was your basic old-school San Francisco character, complete with long, waxed moustache. But he had a way with words.

One Sunday afternoon, King was in Madison Square Garden gloomily describing how the Fazier-Monroe-Reed, etc. Knicks were pulling away from Rick Barry and the Warriors in 4th quarter crunch time.

"The Knicks," King said after a long sigh, "play the game correctly."

A better epitaph for Jared Dudley's career at BC could not be imagined. Dudley's raw physical abilities aren't the stuff of NBA lottery picks, but he has the knack of doing what's needed and doing it properly when it's most needed. Coaches doing recruiting and NBA GMs at draft time come to grief every year thinking that understanding can be taught. They're only partially right. A man's game be improved through teaching, but a pupil who instinctively grasps the subject matter is rare in any discipline. Let me put it this way. All-around sports fan Bill Belichick must adore Dudley's game. It's based on what he looks for in football players.

Dudley's brain receives and absorbs basketball knowledge and transmits the knowledge to his body at a very high level. Without his gift, BC would've been a marginal NIT pick this season, and in several other of his four years at the Heights. Dudley's special ability is hard to describe, but easy to see when it's in front of one on the court.

Oh, yeah, it's also an ability which wins games for teams at any level. The ACC Player of the Year, by definition, is a guy who can play ball at any level. Here's two predictions for Jared Dudley's future. He will not be an NBA lottery pick this June. He will, however, have a longer NBA career than several guys who are.


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