Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Championship game wrap up, and postgame comments which rubbed me the wrong way.


Duke won. Great. Fantastic game that almost had a better ending then the hype with a half court shot hitting bank and off the front of the iron. Heartbreaking for the Bulldogs, who are no longer a secret anymore in College Basketball. I certainly hope Coach Stevens stays there and they get more resources and attention. They are a great program and one that deserved every bit to be in the championship game. Duke was not able to use their size to a rebounding advantage which was surprising. Butler's guards were absolute bullies on the floor with their physicality and speed.
Let me get to my real beef with last night. After the game, Digger Phelps got on his soapbox along with Bob Knight and made some disparaging comments about players who come to college for one year and enter the Lottery to get drafted into the NBA. He specifically mentioned Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose, and even current college players like John Wall and Demarcus Cousins and sarcastically asked "What happened to them here? Why didn't they win?" This is outrageous. Phelps said that coaches should start recruiting "quality kids" who won't bolt after one year and go make money in the league. And by quality, please understand who Phelps is referring to. There were no one and dones on Duke or Butler. Both teams were mostly made up of Juniors and Seniors. Then Bob Knight jumped in and said that if the former head of the NCAA was still in power the one and done rule would be much stricter and kids couldn't leave after freshman year, and it would stop "the one-and-done garbage schools have to contend with." I resent that they would single out players (who are overwhelmingly black) and call them out even by name. As if the college basketball level is the end all. Forget that the vast majority of these kids are making life decisions and its either stay and take classes and make your school and the NCAA millions (while you get nothing) or go and get your parents and siblings out of a possibly dangerous environment and a better quality of life. Heaven forbid these players make the best decision for them and their family over the million dollar paid coaches and school! Hypocrisy and sickening to me. This is the same logic used to criticize Colt McCoy for not going back into the National Championship BCS bowl game against Bama. That he somehow should have risked more injury and a pro career for Longhorn glory. Thankfully his father saw the big picture and told him not to go back in. 12 freshmen or less will enter the nba out of roughly 300 schools w/12-15 players so maybe 1/300 players are true 1 & dones. Not that big a percentage. But to hear Digger and the basketball establishment say it, it's despicable and flies in the face of the purity of college sports. The purity? Don't make me laugh. When coaches are paid millions and get to choose what shoes and uniforms the team wears (only to get paid more) while boosters drop big money into programs and schools get huge checks for just making the tournament. Alabama A&M 3 years ago got into the play-in game (65 vs 64) and lost, and the school still got ~$500,000! There are clearly some bruised egos and angry feelings from the college basketball establishment when a kid plays for one year and goes pro, or even in the past when they could skip college and go straight to the NBA. The reason you come to College is to learn and prepare to get a job and make a living in life. To become educated in your field. Why on earth wouldn't you enter your field as soon as possible if you are deemed good enough to do it? Classes will always be there. As much as "purist" say you get paid to play by a free ride in education, how much is that for 4 years? $120,000 for tuition and room and board? Make the pro money and get educated during the summer. If you are a kid who is a locked in lottery pick, and you can help your family, or they need help, and you are deciding what you should do, remember this guy and how he helped his mother and family, or this guy and how he extended his sister's life.