Kyle Tucker over at the Courier-Journal points out that former Louisville Ballard star Twany Beckham will become eligible for the Chattanooga Mocs game this Saturday night. I think that could be a bigger factor than many people think for this Kentucky basketball team.
Beckham played for the Mississippi State Bulldogs one and one half years, redshirting one year to rehabilitate from surgery to both his hips. Beckham didn't play much his freshman year, but he averaged around 15 minutes/game the first half of last year and started in place of Dee Bost until Bost regained his eligibility. Beckham is an energy guy, a pass-first point guard with good ballhandling skills. He isn't a particularly good shooter, but he has great size at 6'5" for his position and is a very good athlete.
Beckham can help UK in a number of ways. He is a good defender with great size, loves to pass the ball and get his teammates involved, and can finish on the break. Beckham also brings something to this team it can really use -- experience. Beckham has been in college now for 2.5 years, and despite his relative dearth of actual game experience, has a mature attitude that can do nothing but benefit this young Kentucky team.
Many UK fans might not be too excited about a guy like Beckham. He isn't going to wow you with his scoring or his extraordinary skill, but I think his intangibles will be felt when he works his way into the rotation, and I expect he will. He can give Calipari the opportunity to coach Teague a bit more during games without having to move Lamb to the point, if he wants. Beckham can also make UK's backcourt very tall and long, and his size makes it possible for him to defend multiple positions up to small forwards.
So join me in welcoming Twany Beckham to eligibility. Hopefully, we'll see some of him on Saturday.