I spent a little bit of time in the archives last night in an effort to accuratlely chronicle (ohhh he said it) CC's always faithful love affair with Preston Knowles. What's remarkable is that it started pretty much right away and has remained consistent up until the moment you're reading this.
For those who weren't fortunate(?) enough to be here from the beginning, I thought I'd offer up a brief summary.
The following are a sampling of Preston-related tidbits from game recaps during his freshman and sophomore seasons (for reference, the second blurb is from the '08 Kentucky game).
You have to get excited when you see this kid check into the game because you know he's going to do all he can to make something happen on defense. His energy always seems to be contagious, and the last two games we've been a better team when he's been on the floor.
Kid's not a bad shooter either.
There's zero doubt about it now: I love Preston Knowles. I love his energy on the bench, I love his energy on the floor, I love his insane dedication to defense, I love his basketball IQ, I love virtually everything about his game.
There was one play in particular that Knowles made which stood out to me. We were pressing and the second pass was made to Patterson in the right corner. Assuming that the big man was likely going to throw over the top, Knowles started to backpedal in order to ensure that no one would be open for an uncontested three. Then right when he saw Patterson put the ball on the floor for the first time, he attacked and ended up forcing a steal. It was so heady, and so effort-fueled that you couldn't help but hope that he'd get the ball back for an easy deuce.
The other thing about Preston is that he's one of four guys - Terrance Farley, Jerry Smith and David Padgett being the others - who you can always count on being into the game when they're on the bench. If you watched nothing but the sidelines the entire game then you'd never be able to tell if any of these guys had scored two or 20 points, and that's the way it should be.
If Preston Knowles would like to marry any of my family members, close friends, casual acquaintances or chicks I saw once and thought were kind of cute, he has my blessing. The shooting isn't always going to be there like it was yesterday, but knowing that the defensive intensity always will is so refreshing, and such a weapon.
The more I watch Preston Knowles exist, the more I wish he would marry into my family. I don't think I've had more confidence in a player's mid-range jumper since Erik Brown (say what you will about the man, he was money at or around the elbow). I also like when he's on the bench and rocks the stand up, outstretched arms move when a three-pointer is in the air. It's definitely a high risk/high reward move when you're on the road, and that's something you like to see out of a freshman.
Preston Knowles vs. a hurricane...BUT, the name of the hurricane is Hurricane Knowles.
Preston Knowles' defense feeds 10,000 starving children each morning.
Preston Knowles actually wrote, directed and starred in No Country for Old Men, but is too humble to accept any awards or accolades.
I didn't see what Preston Knowles did to warrant his technical foul, but I'm 100% positive that it was the coolest technical in the history of basketball.
Kid's arms are enormous. He really is the new Larry O'Bannon. It was nice to see Preston looking for his shot a little more off the dribble as opposed to camping out along the baseline and waiting for another guard to drive and kick to him. There's still a sizable drop-off from McGee and Sosa to him when it comes to ballhandling, but he made a number of impressive plays during the little time he spent running the show. I also hear he's a decent defender.
Knowles' athleticism was hard to miss when he got up to block an Earl Clark jumper and was incorrectly called for a foul. Afterward, he went over to one of the cops sitting courtside, said something to him and then gave him a high-five. George Clooney daydreams about being this cool.
In his brief career, I don't think Preston Knowles has had a single stint on the floor where he hasn't forced me to make at least one comment about how fun it is to watch him play defense. He's pressing just a bit on the other end, but knowing that the ball-hawking is never going to go anywhere should be enough to help all of us sleep comfortably.
When Preston Knowles has bronchial problems, we all have bronchial problems.
So Preston Knowles is an offensive machine now? It's like Santa Clause popping in on an April Tuesday just to say hi.
I took in the game with a small and not particularly focused viewing audience from the comfort of a living room. The situation was far from ideal, but an outside party listening to the audio or reading the transcript from those two hours would have probably found it hilarious.
A sample recreation, try to find me:
--So I've decided that I am going to send that Kate Spade bag back.
--It's just so much bigger than it looked online.
--GRAB THE FUCKING BALL!!!
--But I think that I'm going to really save up and buy that Louis Vuitton.
--Oh my god! That one you were looking at the other night?
--Yeah, it's so cute. Plus, it's more sort of springy/summery and this one is more wintery.
--OH MY GOD PRESTON, TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF RIGHT NOW.
--That's so great. You're going to look soo cute.
Preston Knowles is apparently playing with an injured ankle, which would explain why he's been beaten off the dribble more times (3) in his last two games than he has in his first 30 plus.
And yet he's still awesome.
I couldn't believe Preston Knowles entered the game and promptly allowed Meeks to stroke a pair of threes right in front of him. I also couldn't believe he air-balled a ten-foot jump shot. And I really couldn't believe that after all that he could still be the biggest bad ass in the history of the world.
Preston is second in the Big East in three-point field goal percentage, but I'm still not sure he's earned the right to launch an off-balance, contested trey one pass into a possession. He has, however, earned the right to a handful of any bag of candy I ever have in my possession. It's a big deal. I love candy.
Tonight isn't just huge because Notre Dame is ranked 13th or because another win would have team confidence sky-high heading into Saturday's game with Pitt, it's huge because on Feb. 12 these two teams will be meeting again in the Joyce Center, and the Irish lose there as often as Preston Knowles takes a defensive possession off.
Exhibit 586,789 of why Louisville basketball fans are awesome: the roar when Preston Knowles fought through three screens to deny Kyle McAlarney the ball in the middle of a possession. Most fan bases simply don't recognize or fully appreciate those types of things.
It's gotten to the point where I'm not even trying to hide my excitement every time I see Knowles and McGee getting ready to check into a game. I've become that annoying grade school basketball coach who was obsessed with defense and keeping your hands up when the other team shot free-throws.
This team, and that guard duo in particular, have made watching defense fun.
Just when I thought it was impossible for me to dislike one person as much as I dislike Eric Devendorf, the insufferable little boy started talking shit to Preston Knowles.
In case you haven't watched much Syracuse basketball over the past three seasons, here's a quick summary of Devendorf's role in most of their games against well-regarded opponents: Eric Devendorf does something well at some point in the first 38 minutes of the game, Eric Devendorf prematurely talks shit to someone on the other team, Eric Devendorf disappears or plays poorly in the game's final two minutes, Eric Devendorf's team loses.
You sir, are not worthy of humbly shaking Preston Knowles' hand.
The defense of Andre McGee and Preston Knowles has been praised at length on here in recent weeks, so I just want to take this opportunity to compliment McGee on his two big three-pointers, and Knowles on his short jumper and great assist on one of Samardo's dunks.
Also, watching you two play defense gives me a massive erection.
I'm sorry, I couldn't help it.
Preston Knowles is absolutely locked in. Even the one deep three he missed was right on line, and Knowles looked shocked when it didn't drop.
It's crazy what being so confident in your shot will do to the rest of your game. We've never seen Preston do something like go coast-to-coast with the ball in his hands and then drop a no-look bounce pass right on the money the way he did with Terrence Jennings early in the second half Wednesday night. He may be our best offensive guard right now.
Oh yeah, and he made 12 deflections, recorded two steals, blocked a shot and made life a living hell for whichever opposing guard had the ball in his hands every second he was on the floor.
I love him.
Preston Knowles is human, or at least partially human...like Will Smith in I, Robot...which I saw in the theater...and am still still kind of embarrassed about.
It wasn't Preston's day offensively, but he made a big bucket at the end of the game that saved us the misery of clanking more free-throws, and snatched a huge offensive board off of Samardo's second miss from the stripe.
I'm pretty sure I said "shoot it" every single time he touched the ball.
I still have a ridiculous amount of faith in Preston's outside shot. Keep pulling, young man.
I'd also invest every penny I own (both of them) in his on-ball defense. Bad economy, shmad shmashonomy.
How much of a trend-setter is Preston Knowles? Let's just say there are nine guys at my office wearing white compression t-shirts. It's like Kelly Kapowski's pizza hat.