The On Deck Circle

The unofficial home of Real Talk

Gary Roberts Wednesdays - Mario Chalmers

Posted by Blake Murphy on April 2, 2008

PhotobucketThis article has been submitted by Stu Wilkinson and is a weekly feature. Check the site on Saturday for our participation in Unsung Player Day.

Shhh, the Jayhawks are sleeping. With Stephen Curry out of the picture, the story of the 2007-08 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is four number one seeds making the Final Four. Only three of those top seeds, however, get any love from those handsome devils known as the “media.” UCLA and North Carolina are hyped because both have two phenomenal players each — Lorenzo Mata-Real, Alfred Aboya, Quentin Thomas, and Wayne Ellington, if you’re keeping score at home. Memphis gets love for their freshman star Derrick Rose and their run at an undefeated season (they played Tennessee in the highest-rated college basketball game in ESPN’s history earlier this season). Kansas, like a UCLA hater would say, gets no love.

Why does Kansas get no love? Probably due to a combination of their balanced attack, lack of star freshmen, and absolutely atrocious location. Luckily for Kansas, they’re about to get some serious love, in the form of a Gary Roberts Wednesday article focusing on their ace in the hole, Mario Chalmers. Chalmers, out of Alaska like Trajan Langdon and Scott Gomez, came in to Kansas as the number one point guard in the 2005 recruiting class. He joined the permanently talented Jayhawks, a team whose storied history includes the retired jerseys of Nick Collison, Drew Gooden, and Raef LaFrentz. With Chalmers operating off the ball and my personal hero Russell Robinson taking care of point guard duties most of the time, Kansas has maintained its status as an elite program, at least in the regular season.

As far as the postseason goes, this is the first Final Four trip for Chalmers in his three years at Kansas, and luckily for him it’s one of the best Final Fours (in terms of the level all four teams are playing at) in recent memory. With the opportunity to notch wins over a couple of elite-level teams on a championship run, Super Mario has a chance to finally attract some national attention to his solid-as-a-rock game. If he plays to his potential, he could even grab a feature role in One Shining Moment, right after the two minute Stephen Curry montage.

And Mario does have the potential to go off – statistically he’s one of the most efficient offensive players in the nation, all while being a tenacious defender. He averages 12 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals per contest on perhaps the most balanced team in the country this side of the Xavier Musketeers, but his play has moved up to another level in big games this year. He dominated the Big 12 Tournament championship game and was the only Kansas guard to have any success in their Elite Eight victory over the Davidson Wildcats. At one point in the first half of the Davidson game, Chalmers was answering every Stephen Curry shot with a trey of his own. The bottom line: remember the name Mario Chalmers, as he will make you look silly on Saturday if you don’t know it.

Inside the Numbers
2 Big 12 All-Defensive Teams
48% shooting from behind the arc
25th best offensive player in the NCAA according to Ken Pomeroy
30 points in the Big 12 Tournament title game
3 consecutive Big 12 championships at Kansas
1 shining moment

This article has been submitted by Stu Wilkinson and is a weekly feature. Check the site on Saturday for our participation in Unsung Player Day.

2 Responses to “Gary Roberts Wednesdays - Mario Chalmers”

  1. This Dave Power Says:

    good article, gotta love chalmers…. when i found out he was from alaska on the weekend i was like holy fuck, where are the canadian superstars in college if there is one from Alaska

  2. Stu P S Says:

    Yeah, I believe Boozer, Langdon, and Chalmers are all from Alaska and were all bona fide stars in college. And Canada has produced…Andy Rautins and PMAC.

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