Time for NCAA to stand up and clear Silvio De Sousa
Devonte' Graham knows how to feed the hot hand, but it's also on shooters to know when they have the hot hand and senior Svi Mykhailiuk seems to be doing a better job of it than in past years.
On the topic of hot hands, I'm here to tell you, I have one at the moment. In a column displayed on the front page of the Journal-World sports section Tuesday, I wrote that it's time for the real Malik Newman to stand up. Sure enough, Newman responded with by far his best game for Kansas, dropping 27 points and eight rebounds on visiting Iowa State.
How did I make such a timely call? Pure luck.
Now it's time for me to ride my hot hand and see if my luck can continue. Here goes:
It's time for the NCAA to clear Silvio De Sousa so that he can make his debut Saturday against Kansas State.
It would be a shame for De Sousa to have to wait much longer, given that he gave up his second semester at IMG Academy to join Kansas, which needs the muscle he can add to a thin front-court.
Once De Sousa makes his KU debut, coach Bill Self predicts it will be "three or four weeks" for him to get comfortable. He can still help a little before he's comfortable and probably a lot once he settles in.
For now, we can only rely on Youtube videos to get a feel for what type of player De Sousa is. Highlight tapes show only the good plays, obviously, but even so it's tough not to be impressed with this "Hoop Diamonds" collection of highlights from the 6-foot-9, 245-pound native of Angola.
He doesn't appear to have a particularly long wingspan, but is a quick leaper and perhaps best of all, understands that he can help his team most by staying close to the basket at both ends. It doesn't look as if he'll use his time at Kansas to try to prove to NBA scouts that he has a reliable jump shot. That's the impression Cheick Diallo gave, which is one reason he never logged many minutes for Kansas after making an impressive debut on Dec. 1, 2015, when he totaled 13 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots vs. Loyola (Maryland). In Diallo's remaining 26 games with KU he never surpassed any of those totals.
De Sousa (pronounced deh-SOE-suh, like once-inflated slugger Sammy Sosa) was named MVP of the FIBA Africa Championship in 2016. Silvio Fernando, also of Angola, was an all-tournament selection for that team. Fernando, a 6-10, 245-pound freshman for Maryland, is averaging 11 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Terrapins, coached by former Kansas point guard Mark Turgeon.
De Sousa is at a disadvantage compared to Fernando in that he joined his team mid-year, but still it's encouraging that a player who has not been hyped quite to the extent as De Sousa is making such a big immediate impact at a Big 10 school.