Monday, December 10, 2007

Fuzz's stew



College basketball edition.

The main ingredient: The Beef-

I was listening to a local talk radio show the other day and they had Fred Hoiberg as their guest. Fred currently is the assistant general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He used to be the sharp shooting cracker that was nicknamed “The Mayor” from Ames, Iowa that had a decent NBA career. His playing days were cut short by injury and now he’s on the fast track to take over Kevin McHale’s position once Kevin figures out that he’s dogshit at his job. It has happened yet.

Anyways, he was talking about the draft process and what he sees for next year since the Wolves will have a very high pick. Surprise, surprise. He’s been doing a lot of scouting around the country (i.e. He just got back from the Jimmy V Classic where he watched OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose battle it out in the same game. What a bleeping job by the way!) I’m paraphrasing here, but he thinks you could see close to eight freshmen taken in the first ten picks in next years NBA draft. I thought this was ridiculous and shocking. The first thing I thought is that this class has to be one of the stronger freshman classes ever and second, I thought about that new NBA rule where you can’t jump right from high school anymore.

When the rule was put in place, I was all for it. It meant that college basketball; one of my favorite sports to watch was going to get all that talent that was jumping to the league. College basketball was going to be better and that was a great feeling. It’s like Target turning into a SuperTarget. But I’m starting to change my tone a little bit about the rule. I believe in this rule that prohibits players from playing professionally until they learn a thing or two in college. For every Lebron James and Kobe Bryant, there are boatloads of Ndudi Ebi’s. I could list off plenty of busts like this but most of us aren’t going to know who they are. We all know Mr. Ebi. Anyways, the majority of these still “wet behind the ears” 18- year olds would benefit greatly from having college coaching rather than being buried on an NBA bench. But is the one-year rule to little?


From a player standpoint it’s way too early too tell. It’s only been in effect for two years. So the 2006 & 2007 classes had to wait one year before they went running for the millions. Here is the list of guys that came out after one year from 2006 & 2007 that you would have to assume would have jumped immediately following H.S.:

2006-
Tyrus Thomas & Shawne Williams. That’s it. I was a little surprised that it was only two guys.

2007-
Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Mike Conley Jr., Brandan Wright, Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, Javaris Crittenton, & Daequan Cook.


It should also be noted that these were the people that were drafted. There could be a handful of guys that didn’t get drafted. Not a guarantee, but a maybe. It’s still too early to evaluate if the year in school helped or hurt these players. The only guy that I see that might not have jumped is Conley Jr. He was just Greg Oden’s PG coming out of high school that ended up being a dynamite college player. But the rest probably would have jumped. Would Kevin Durant be averaging almost 20 a game if he came out after H.S.? Who knows? It’s too early.

Ok, finally to the point. My point is that I think it hurts college basketball programs with these “one and done” guys that have only one thing on their mind…To make a lot of money. How do you make a lot of money? Get drafted with a high pick. How do you get drafted high? You showcase your skills at all times. I don’t want to speak for these athlete’s but don’t you think with this one year rule, players are going into the year with individual goals on their mind while trying to play the ultimate team game? I do.

If you go to www.nbadraft.net you’ll see their 2008 mock draft. I don’t know how credible this site is but it was the first one that came up in Google so it has to be legit. Take a look at it...Out of the top ten picks, nine are freshman and one is a sophomore. Nine programs in retrospect are going to lose their best player after only one year. I don’t like that.

That hurts a college basketball team.

College basketball is a team game and the champions are usually teams with guys that have played together for a while. The coach gets a chance to coach a unit and the kids learn to gel together. See: Gators, Florida- Tar Heels, North Carolina- and Huskies, Connecticut. Those three programs are your last four national champions and in each case they had players that played together for 2-3 years. Florida with the “Perfect 5” (Noah, Horford, Brewer, Humphrey and Green).

UNC with the “Junior 3” (May, McCants and Felton) and UConn with the “All-American 2” (Okafor and Gordon.) By their junior or senior years these teams put everything together and won. Ohio State almost proved this theory wrong last year but was throttled by an experienced Florida team. I believe that teams that rely on super freshman to guide them are consequently getting burned.

A good class with a super freshman is set back a year with this rule. They have to wait a year for the kid to get his licks and then start the team building approach after he takes off. Look, kids left after one year before this rule but if you were going to college it meant you still had work to do and things to learn. Kids have to go now. It’s a speed bump until the big show. Go to school, chuck up 20 shots a game and get to the league after one year. No biggie. However, I feel this rule is going to set back some programs. The elite schools might not take as much as of hit because they always have blue chippers coming in but look at a team like Kansas State. Do you think they’re going to be half as good next year when Beasley leaves?


It’s no ones fault but the rules fault. You can make arguments up and down about this age limit rule until you’re blue in the face. You can argue that even though they are leaving after one year they wouldn’t even had a great talent like this if not for the rule. I get that. You can argue that maybe a kid enjoys college so much he stays for a couple extra years. I get that too. But I feel the kids that wanted to jump after H.S. are just leaving one year later regardless. Also, how do you not recruit these kids? When a stud H.S. player wants to come play for you but you know he’s a goner after a year, do you say no? It’s a catch 22 and the solution I see is to change the rule…again.

In year one of the rule it was two one year guys drafted, year two was eight guys, and year three it should be even more. So maybe players aren’t taking the “let’s see if I like it enough to stay more years” approach. The number of players leaving after one year is increasing.

My opinion is that you need to increase it to two or three years or go back to the old rule where you can jump from H.S. The one-year has got to go. The football rule is three years removed from high school. I love that rule but the NBA would never do that. They love their young stars. I would prefer at least two years. This way a good class of kids can play together and integrate better with the older players with two full years of college. One year seems way to short and you barely get to know these kids. Two years gives you almost 60 games to gel and programs won’t be hurt as much. If the player comes early to your school in the summer after they graduate, by the time they play their last college game of their sophomore year that gives you about 22 months in your program. You can work with that...

So Mr. Stern, you seem to change rules non-stop in the NBA. Just tweak this one so it’s better for everyone...or for me...

The five other ingredients: The Potatoes, Carrots, Celery, Onions & Tomatoes-


1) Michael Beast-ley update: Nine games, 25 pts a game, & 14.3 rebounds. The Wolves somehow beat the Suns for their third win but we’re still the worst team by far. I thought I was in the Twilight Zone when I saw we beat Phoenix by seven. Definitely closed my eyes for three seconds and opened them back up just to make sure. Still saw it. Amazing. Doesn’t matter because Beasley is well on his way on our team next year.

2) Lute Olson, Arizona’s basketball coach is taking the year off for “personal reasons.” It’s been reported that he’s getting a divorce from his second wife of four years. If you remember, his first wife Bobbi died of cancer in the early 2000’s and they were married 47 years. He’s known as the ultimate family man since he skipped multiple work events for personal reasons. The most notable one was he attended his son’s wedding instead of his induction in the Hall of Fame. I have no problem with him leaving at all. His mind is obviously not right and is putting his family first. Being a big family man myself, more power to him for taking care of the most important thing in the world first.


3) This week is really poor for college games. There are hardly any games during the week except for a few average matchups. I think they do this because it’s finals weeks for most schools. I find this funny because 95% of these players are majoring in basketball or general studies and have no idea what finals even mean.

4) Division III guard has 34 assists, breaking the NCAA single game assist record. It should be said that this midget plays for Grinnell. It’s a school in Iowa that plays an odd style of basketball. They are all about scoring. They substitute five guys at a time frequently to press all game and try to shoot at least 50 three pointers a game. Check their box scores if you don’t believe me. Anyways, 34 assists in any game is insanely good.

5) Finally, here’s a call for you. I think Duke is a better team than North Carolina. Laugh all you want but I think Duke will beat them this year. Three weeks ago people would have bet the house on UNC going 2-0. I’ve been saying since the beginning of the season that they’ll be better than people expect and now it looks more promising. Bitch, moan, & laugh all you want but they are very good deep team and I haven’t been impressed with UNC at all. I don’t want to sound like I don’t know anything and say I still think UNC is very good as well but I don’t think their the best team in the land at season’s end like everyone thinks right now.

Out,
Fuzz

20 comments:

The Truth said...

34 assists is a great feat but it's a very inflated stat. I have a couple of friends who have played against Grinnell and told me about them. They press the entire game but they leave two guys at halfcourt, literally. Two guys will stay at halfcourt while the other team goes at their three remaining defenders. They usually let them score, push the ball down, and chuck up a 3. They shot 86 3-pointers in that game! All that PG has to do is bring it up and pass it out, and he gets an assist. They will literally trade you a layup for a 3 pointer, because they can't play any defense but they can shoot their asses off. Then they will sub a new 5 man rotation in every couple minutes. Against a higher D3 or D2 they would probably get stomped but the teams they play against aren't used to the style so they surprise 'em. It's fun to watch, but kind of sad. Their leading scorer was 12-36 from the 3...yes he shot 36 threes...and only made 12-that's pretty bad.

Buddha said...

You put the ingredients to the stew in there, but not a recipe. Are you a smell and taste kinda cook? If I come down to hang out, will you make me some stew?

Fuzz said...

To the Truth-
I agree it's inflated but the record has been held since 1989. So why didn't a Grinell player break it the last 18 years? The record was at 28. I know they play a funky style of play but 34 assists in one game is absurd. The kid was averaging 10 dimes a game and then went for 34! Maybe the team got really hot or whatever you want to call it, it's still impressive.

Dogg said...

Some teams record assists different as well but even if it's skewed a little bit, impressive nonetheless.

I like any rule that makes athletes attend college. It's not fair one bit because they should be able to jump right into the NBA if they want to. They are 18 year olds and should be able to make their own decisions. For viewing purposes there is nothing better though.

Hemi said...

I agree, they should make these guys stay at least 2 years instead of one. How great would it be for Durant to still be at Texas right now with Augustin still running the point. Or seeing Oden and Conley Jr. with a year of experience under their belt. Or Putting Spencer Hawes up against K. Love in the Pac 10. You would have a hell of a tournament come March with "veterans" leading the way.

After watching what Florida did the last 2 years, how could you not want to see the UNC's, the Duke's, the UCLA's, etc. hold onto all their blue chippers for 2-3 years and battle it out come March. It would be taking an already superb product and making it 100 times better.

Dogg said...

The NFL makes guys be 21+ because they are scared some kids would get hurt if they made the jump to the league right out of high school which I believe is true.

Basketball isn't about the size but trying to make these kids attend school and get a degree to fall back on just in case they don't make it in the league. The thing is that most of them don't go to school even when they are enrolled so just forfeit the rule and let them decide on their own. I don't think college basketball is going to take a hit either way because we've had different rules and the level of play is almost the same every year.

Finn-to-Win said...

Wow never saw any Duke teams winning the NCAA title recently.

I love watching the college game as well but making them go to college for one year is stupid. If a kid does not want to go to college that is his choice. Just because he was talented enough to play basketball at high level in high school does not entitle him to go to college its his choice. No one gets mad if a high school kid starts his own business with out going to college so whats difference?

Also about the assists. Don't all teams run systems? Grinnell runs a unconventional style. The coach thinks thats the best way for his team to win games. Memphis runs a different style as well, you not going to count them as the #2 team in the country because of that. So, because they run that style there records dont count? No one said you had to play basketball the same way as everyone else. A record is a record.

Fuzz saying that Duke will split with UNC is not going out on a limb. Its one of the biggest games ever played every year. Now you would be saying somthing if you said that Duke will be in the Final Four. (if they can get by a VCU)

Fuzz said...

Fine. Duke will be in the Final Four.

Dogg said...

OK Fuzz, you have now gone overboard and Finn just worked you. Your comments about Duke were fine but now you're saying Final Four? Finn, great work getting him to say that because we will stuff that in his pipe when they lose out in the Sweet Sixteen.

Fuzz said...

Make a call pussy. I think Duke is good enough to make it to the Final Four so I said it. Pick one team right now to make it. Whoever makes it farther between Duke and your team, get's $20.

Dogg said...

You will give me any team?

Fuzz said...

Any team. Pick one. You're scared though I can tell. You know Duke has just as good of a chance as any other top 10 team. Pick one chicken...

Dogg said...

That's not a good bet for me because it's way to early in the college season to decipher who's for real and who's just a pretender. I hate Duke and always will but know they are a damn good basketball team this year. You don't know me when calling me a "chicken" because you know I roll with anything.

Finn-to-Win said...

Fuzz-

I know Duke has looked pretty good this year and I hate Duke. But when you watch this team they just seem to be so close to lose the game. They do not look like any of the teams in the past that had the one go to guy that you knew was going to hit the shot.


G-Town, UCLA, UNC, Memphis. Thats the final four for 2008.

Fuzz said...

I think Georgetown is the most overrated team in the land. I'd be surprised if they made it to the Sweet 16 this year. I hate them. If UCLA makes it for the third year in a row, that coach deserves way more recognition then he's getting. Playing the odds, I don't see UCLA getting back. UNC doesn't impress me. Like Dogg said, it' too early so we don't know where they are going to be seeded, but I don't think they are a final four team. I will agree with you on Memphis. I think it's finally the year they make it.

Dogg said...

Gtown will make the Sweet 16 if they stay healthy. They are relatively thin so injuries could hurt them but Hibbert and Wallace are enough to make the Sweet 16.

The Truth said...

Yeah that's true about Grinnell but it's still not all htat impressive to me...

Georgetown only lost Jeff Green from last year's team, and yes that is a big loss, but Dajuan Summers and Vernon Macklin are both rising stars and can fill in for Green easily, and Hibbert has gotten even better. Wallace was a Top 5 point guard in the nation last year and got very little recognition for it. I honestly think the Hoyas will win it all this year...

My "sleeper," if you wanna call them that, is Indiana. Eric Gordon can fill it up obviously, he's the type of perimeter player that could take them all the way. Plus D.J. White is FINALLY healthy and looking every bit the player he was supposed to be for the past 3-4 years as one of the most highly touted big men in the country out of high school. They are dangerous...

Finn-to-Win said...

If Grinnell was a D1 team would that impress you more?

I made a prediction thats all I was doing. Im sure I will post another 4 teams down the road. Duke will not make the final four thats forsure.

Dogg said...

Finn, lets just bet Fuzz that if he's so confident in his Dukies. Fuzz, $20 that Duke doesn't make the Final Four this year?

Finn-to-Win said...

Im in $20 that they do not make the Final Four.