By Eamonn Brennan
Edgar Sosa hits the campaign trail
And Rick Pitino isn't happy about it.
Edgar Sosa has been having his best statistical season of his tumultuous Louisville career. ("Tumultuous" feels like an overstatement, given the subject of today's other Louisville-related post, but there's no denying that Sosa's relationship with his head coach -- and his play on the court -- have been both brilliant and frustrating during his tenure as a Card.) Sosa doesn't think people are talking about his play enough, and so he decided to do cut to the chase and engage in a little personal PR. He decided to tell us:
"I think I'm playing the best I've played here at Louisville," he said. "I always think that I can play better and do more, but the funny thing is, I'm not being mentioned or talked about. When I measure up my numbers with the rest of the point guards in the country, our numbers are either the same or mine are better."
Sosa is averaging 13 points and four assists per game, and his percentages are all higher than at any time in his career. Then again, if Sosa is measuring himself against, say, John Wall -- and that seems most likely, given their proximity -- he's a little off. Wall is averaging nearly 17 points and seven assists, as well as 3.5 rebounds and two steals per game. Villanova's Scottie Reynolds is up around 19 points per game. (The tempo-free numbers aren't that much kinder; Sosa doesn't crack the top 100 in assist rate, for example.) And Kentucky and Villanova aren't fighting for a tournament spot; they're fighting for No. 1 seeds. Sosa's Cardinals have been unlucky in spots, but they're still very much a bubble team.
Still, that's almost beside the point. Why? Because you know Pitino isn't going to be happy about this. Time for the money quote:
"I don't know what it's going to accomplish by looking at other point guards," Pitino said. "A, it's not going to help us win; B, it's not going to help him get drafted; and C, it's not going to help him become a better basketball player."
All valid points, though I would say Sosa's public relations effort could theoretically help get him drafted. It never hurts to tell pro scouts, "Hey, look at me! I'm pretty good!" Maybe they'll put down their Wall and Reynolds reports and fish around for some Sosa tape instead?
Maybe. But the only real way to impress people as a college basketball player is to deliver that message on the court. Trust me, Edgar. We'll notice. We'll write about it. Until then, probably best to listen to your coach. He might know a thing or two about PR.