Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Rose on Kentucky's Wall, Calipari
By Nick Friedell
MEMPHIS -- At least once a week, somebody will ask me some variation of this question: How does Derrick Rose's game compare to John Wall's?
I decided to ask the Bulls 21-year-old point guard the same question Tuesday morning about the freshman point guard from the University of Kentucky.
"Wow," he said after a pause. "My game to John Wall's ... I really don't know. I haven't watched him really enough to look at his game like that or say anything about his game. All I know is that he is a great player. And they're playing good basketball right now, so I can't say anything about him.
Rose does know that John Calipari, his former coach at Memphis, and Wall's current coach at Kentucky, is getting ready for March Madness in his own special way.
"Coach Cal always flips out," Rose said. "It could be tournament play, practice, whatever. He's always yelling, always going crazy. That's Cal. If he's not doing that you know something's wrong."
Just two years ago Rose was in Wall's shoes, leading a Calipari-coached squad into the tournament. As he looks back now, the Bulls' star says he has fond memories of the tournament.
"Just being around my teammates," he said. "Just being around them all the time. Definitely knowing how it is up [in the NBA] now, where you rarely see your teammates and hang out with them. Up here it's different. But, in college you're always with them. Always."
While Rose is disappointed that his Tigers didn't make the NCAA Tournament, he has already made it clear that he believes Calipari's Wildcats, led by Wall, are the team to beat. What's also clear is that Rose has an affinity for Memphis and the people around Tennessee and that's why it's even harder for him to have to sit out Tuesday night's game because of a sprained wrist.
"I know the fans they love me here," he said. "I love them here. This will be the last time I'll be here, we only come here once a year. For me not to play here this year it hurts a little bit ... I've been waiting on this, but I guess I got to wait ‘til next year."