Time Kempton was always good. He became a star tonight.
What an incredible performance – forget the double-double, forget the early physical play, he got the game kickstarted and kind of was the machine that kept things going by grabbing the rebounds limiting Navy to one shot.
When Navy went ahead, he kicked it into a different gear – getting rebounds simply because “he wanted it more” (the announcers’ words, not mine), and just racking up critical baskets to help build the slender lead. Best of all he did it without succumbing to some of his bad instincts we saw earlier in the year – getting in foul trouble, getting pushed around by really good post defenders. It was a war underneath with him, against a very game Navy team that battled extremely hard – and he delivered.
Folks who watched the game got to see something special. I think we’re going to be circling this game as one of the greats. It wasn’t only Kempton – AP’s pass to Kempton to set up the go-ahead bucket was a thing of beauty, as was KLF, I mean Leufroy’s spark offensively, Ross’ ballhandling. But this was the game I think that Kempton went from really good to great.
Let’s now hope Sunday’s game will see more of the same sort of thing. I can’t wait to see what Kempton does for an encore.