Michael Beasley: Freshman Orientation

So much for freshman orientation. In his first two weeks of college basketball, Kansas State freshman Michael Beasley was first Big 12 Conference Player of the Week last week, and now Rookie of the Week.

Beasley debuted with a 32-point, 24-rebound game against Sacramento State, came back to score 28 and snare 14 rebounds against Pittsburg State, and most recently netted 30 points and grabbed 22 boards against Western Illinois for the 3-0 Wildcats.

Yes, 90 points and 60 rebounds in three games. The first player in Big 12 history to collect two 20-20 performances in a single season ... just three games into the 2007-08 season. He's the first Wildcat to score at least 20 and snatch at least 20 rebounds in the same game twice in the same season since Jack Parr in 1955-56.

Against Western Illinois, Beasley didn't score until the 2:50 mark of the first half and had just five points at the break. And then, "Beasley started inflicting his will," Western Illinois coach Derek Thomas said of the turning point in the game. "We thought he was over our back some, but when a guy is that athletic and that good, he's going to get some calls."

Just how good is Beasley? "I think he's a top five pick (NBA Draft)," Thomas said.

It was after Beasley's first game where he set a Big 12 Conference single-game rebounding record with 24, that Sacramento State coach Jerome Jenkins said, "It was a joy to watch him on the court. He'll be in the NBA very soon. He's a pro. They'll be lucky to have him after this year."

Beasley has hit 62 percent of his shots through three games, plus has averaged 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocked shots per game.

And he's done so, seemingly, without breaking a sweat.

Beasley hasn't been allowed to comment to the media about his early-season play, or his future with the Wildcats.

So, it's been left to others to talk about him, like Wildcat coach Frank Martin who made this comparison to Kevin Durant, who was the No. 2 player selected in last year's NBA Draft after his freshman season at Texas.

"If Kevin Durant was a freshman this year, and Michael would have been a freshman last year, then everyone would be trying to figure out if Kevin Durant could play up to Michael Beasley's standards," Martin said. "Mike is a heckuva player, but the most important thing about Mike is that he is a winner. He loves to win."

Beasley puts his talents to work against true NCAA Tournament-type competition this week at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.


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