Morning Five: 04.29.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on April 29th, 2011

  1. Dear unnamed ACC coaches who are more interested in their own selfish interests than the well-being of their players: go eff yourselves.  You got what you wanted in that the NCAA approved yet another change to its NBA Draft withdrawal deadline, making it virtually impossible for players to work out and solicit good advice on their draft status in 2012 and beyond before making a final decision.  The May 8 withdrawal deadline this year is already too short, allowing players merely two weeks to get full information that will help them make a life-changing decision; next year’s deadline will be a ridiculously-early April 12, only ten days after some lucky team will cut the nets down in New Orleans.  The ostensible reason behind this change is that coaches want to know what their rosters will look like going into the spring signing period (which begins at approximately the same time as the new deadline), but it rings extremely hollow when they’re claiming to care about their players first while banking millions of dollars themselves.  The coaches driving this legislation, every one of whom is a millionaire, has the luxury of wealth and privilege to fall back on if they make a hasty mistake, while their players get… what, exactly?  A couple of phone calls, a rumor or two, and a pat on the back?  It’s embarrassing and it’s shameful, and if anyone believes that this change will frighten players who are not draftable to stay in school, they’re dreaming.  Successful people generally believe things will work out for them, no matter the decision — it’s just that now they’ll be making their decisions without proper information on which to rely.  Congratulations, fellas.
  2. Ok, on to the players in this year’s draft who still have another ten days to make a final decision.  The NBA released its official list on Thursday and the biggest surprise name on it was Minnesota’s Ralph Sampson, III.  DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony makes the call on every one of this year’s early entries, including analysis that shows several players — Tennessee’s Tobias Harris, Michigan’s Darius Morris, and Xavier’s Tu Holloway, to name a few — have difficult decisions ahead of them next week.
  3. Georgia’s Mark Fox received a nice raise as a result of his guiding the Bulldogs to its first legitimate NCAA Tournament appearance in nine seasons last year (the Dawgs’ 2008 appearance with a 17-17 team was a fluke in part caused by the Atlanta tornado).  His contract was extended by one year to 2016 and his salary was increased by $400,000 annually for a total package worth $1.7M per year.  Not bad for a football school, eh?  Fox will lose stars Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie to the NBA Draft this offseason, so his ultimate worth will be determined by how he does the next four years with his own players.  Still, he’ll have plenty of dollars put away to carry him for a while if things don’t go as well as last season did for his program.
  4. Hey, we can’t say that we did or did not write a couple of letters in a similar vein to this back in the day, but what we can say is that Ethan Peikes’ letter to Georgia Tech AD Dan Radakovich applying for the open head coaching position this spring was probably more logical, likely more witty, and definitely better written.  This is a great story from Mike DeCourcy about how a 15-year old kid from Stamford, Connecticut, made a name for himself by simply, well, making a name for himself.  Nice resume booster.
  5. Jerry Seinfeld on Thursday made headlines when he said that the bombastic businessman-turned-politician Donald Trump was “God’s gift to comedy.”  Little did he know that another God’s Gift would be making his way to the Big Apple, and this one doesn’t involve a weird comb-over and a penchant for egomania.  As far as we know, at least.  God’s Gift Achiuwa, a 6’9 sophomore forward from Erie Community College picked St. John’s over Washington and Cincinnati for his services in the post next year.  Steve Lavin calls him “Gift,” and he represents exactly that to his packed recruiting class that comes in long on talent but not particularly sizable.  The Johnnies will be extremely young next season but should remain fun to watch for a number of reasons, not least of which will be enjoying various announcers handle Achiuwa’s God-Given name.
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4 responses to “Morning Five: 04.29.11 Edition”

  1. BOtskey says:

    The new draft deadline is great news for college basketball in my opinion. This will enhance the college game and provide coaches with some certainty about what they need during the spring signing period. I rarely agree with anything said or written by Mike DeCourcy anyway. I’ve always thought the deadline was way too long in the first place because it leaves some coaches in limbo regarding their roster for the next season. I don’t think it’s dreaming to believe undraftable players will stay in school. I think it’s pretty obvious that will be the case and that’s good for college basketball.

    Players who are good enough for the NBA will make it there eventually. They don’t need a month to go out and get information. This is a positive step towards what I hope will be a new policy like college baseball. You can go to the NBA after high school but if you go to college, you stay for a minimum of three years. I’ll be a very happy man if that ever happens.

  2. rtmsf says:

    Brian, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, and frankly, the old system that allowed players to declare for the draft anytime/anywhere was a disaster for everybody. You’re right in that the only winners of this new deadline are the coaches, except there’s always a catch, right? And if the NBA goes to the baseball model, those same coaches will spend two years recruiting kids like Anthony Davis with the thought they were college players until late in their senior year when they decide going pro is a better option. Oops — two years wasted.

    The bottom line is that 18 and 19-yr olds with aspirations to play professionally (read: all of them) make bad decisions when left to their own devices. They need valid information from NBA people that says, NO YOU WILL NOT BE DRAFTED, or NO YOU ARE NOT A FIRST ROUNDER, to convince them that they have no business entering the draft. When the agents and handlers get involved and trump the coaches gathering information for them, you see what happens (Malcolm Lee is a good example). As it will now stand, they’re basically going to be relying on word of mouth and DraftExpress. The NBA won’t even get a chance to work people out prior to the deadline.

    It was like this ten years ago, and it was a mess. Everybody who thought they had any sliver of a chance of playing in the NBA was coming out. There would be 90+ early entries for a draft of 60 players, which also included, inconveniently, internationals and graduating seniors. If we go to the baseball model, most of the top ten recruits and a good chunk of the top twenty players will never see a college campus. I can’t believe that anybody thinks that’s a good thing. We should want to incentivize players (all players) to stay in school, which means a two-and-done rule + a reasonable draft withdrawal deadline. Anything short of that is encouraging talent to roll the dice to their detriment.

  3. RDude says:

    I fully expect several coaches (hopefully including the unamed ACC ones) to get their spring recruiting plans ruined when a key player submits his name for the NBA draft just before the NBA’s deadline and “forgets” to inform his coach before the official NBA list is published at the end of April.

    If the NBA is really feeling vindictive, they could easily push their date back further and make college coaches sweat it out through May or even June if they wanted.

  4. Bob says:

    Cough, Roy Williams, cough.

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