Friday, March 25, 2016

IU vs. North Carolina Preview (Which Isn't Really a 'Preview' At All)

Posted By on Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 1:51 PM

click to enlarge og.jpg

O.G. Anunoby’s real name is “Ogugua,” which in the Nigerian tongue means “pacify.” Maybe that’s a cosmic gag of sorts – a name so antithetical to his tornado-y, hellraising athleticism that it’s like naming a midget “Stretch.” Old-timey shoe cobblers and cowhands and Fate(?) love that stuff, they find it ironic and very LOL. Of course, maybe it’s not a gag at all … but rather manifest destiny. Entire armies throughout history have gotten their shit “pacified” into submission through brute force. I rather like that explanation, really, although it doesn’t matter much. It doesn’t matter because Ogugua goes by “O.G.,” the most BALLER nickname in history that isn’t “Night Train” or “Stonewall” or “Hot Plate,” and he is very very boss.

IU tips off tonight against North Carolina at 4:48 AM or something dreadful like that. (Friday nights are the WORST when you’re an Old, we've covered that.) There are many “expert” “previews” and “picks” and so forth out there if you are into reading such things, but they are all boring and bad and they put the Hoosiers’ chances of winning at GRIM. Fuck them. IU will win. They will win for a number of reasons, but mainly because O.G. is an expressionless 6′7″ combo forward, with “combo” meaning he combines all the best attributes of a Jedi and a CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter – the heavy-lifting, multi-use cargo chopper preferred by the United States Marines. He does not seem real or plausible or possible.

O.G.’s main export is not sexy Flash or Fun or a finely polished skill set. It is more boring than that, really; he deals in weakside rotations and quiet venom. He will be CHILL AS HELL for long stretches, nonchalantly using his mind tricks(?) and 13-foot wingspan to swallow entire stretches of games whole with few people even noticing. He is the Lou Gehrig to James Blackmon’s Wally Pipp, the reason IU is 80 minutes from Houston. He is OG-Wan Kenobi, and he remains largely unknown to the experts and the pundits and the entire state of North Carolina. Well here's the skinny, you newbs: He was born in London, not Bedford … his dad is some fancy genius Ph.D. university professor, not the town drunk hanging around the diner … and he goes by the goddamn name of O.G., not Dale or Damon or Jordy or Bobby.

A less Indiana Basketball set of preconceptions there is not. And yet he’s somehow the Hoosier-iest Hoosier who ever Hoosier’d, simply because ALL he does is whatever needs to be done whenever it needs doing – all while literally speaking less than Jimmy Chitwood. The Hoosiers will win tonight and O.G. will be the reason why. And in two years or one or probably less, he will become the most successful NBA player from IU since Isiah Thomas.

IU 83, UNC 79

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Roy Hobbson

Roy Hobbson

Roy Hobbson writes about sports, fatherhood and sometimes nachos. He was responsible for the now-defunct IndyCar blog called The Silent Pagoda.

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