KU Sports: Bill Self says College Prospects Top-Heavy

  • Think Lyle’s offer is conditional? Likely backup plan for Vaughn.

  • I’ve been trying to compare today to the 70’s and 80’s when I first started following college hoops. Wilt was the first I remember leaving college early that I know of, but after that, I think of Magic leaving after two years, and then the norm became leaving a year early. So who would have OAD’s? Danny, Magic, Ralph Sampson, Isaih, Patrick Ewing were players I remember really being hyped.
    The problem with the OAD phenomenon is it gives those very players a false sense of how good they really are. With the talent level watered down by so many early exits, freshmen and sophomores are given more chances to shine. I’d love to see Wiggins to have to take a back seat to some higher caliber players just like Danny had to. Danny was treated like a freshman because he was a freshman with a lot of talented upperclassmen. Danny became better for it. But there’s no one, besides coach of course to put Wiggins in his place as a freshman. I’d really like to see the NBA make a rule that if you want to play pro ball, then make yourself available out of HS. If you don’t choose that route, or if you don’t get drafted, then you’re going to college for 3 years minimum. Then we’ll start to see the high caliber of play that we’ve become accustomed to.

  • Lyle’s alleged comments about de-committing from Louisville because not enough playing time is a gigantic red flag to me. I believe Myles Turner is the real target as he has a much higher ceiling and fills a position where KU might need help.

  • I don’t understand your reasoning. “The problem with the OAD phenomenon is it gives those very players a false sense of how good they really are.” - College basketball is supremely different today then it was back then. These kids are traveling all over the country playing each other at an early age. Their level of competition in the summer aau circuit is so much better, even as compared to 5 years ago. There is such a focus on developing kids at a young age because it is making people money. AAU coaches get paid entirely too much, prep schools get national attention, Nike and McDonalds are able to run the hype machine and make even more money themselves. It’s a different monster. The OAD phenominon doesn’t give them a false sense of how good they really are, everything leading up to it lets them know how good they really are. Wiggins wasn’t even going to be a part of this class until he dominated Randel and realized he was ready.

    I personally feel basketball needs to go back to the way it was before the OAD was forced on kids. I would say most, if not all, of these top recruits view their future profession as being a professional basketball player. They don’t need to go to college the same way Zuckerberg or Jobs didn’t. There are some very special and talented players out there who are missing out on a year of making millions of dollars and their window for making that kind of money is very small. I also don’t feel you can force a player to have to stay for an extended period of time. Should Carmelo have had to stay after his freshman year at Syracuse? No. Was his decision to go for a year to Syracuse rather than directly to the NBA the right one? absolutely, yes. Kids have a decision to make at a young age - go and take the money now or, if not comfortable/totally ready, develop in college to see where you stand.

    My apologies if this got a bit rant-ish. I just think it’s totally backwards and can’t imagine how angry I’d be if I had a limited shelf-life and was good enough at something that people wanted to pay me millions of dollars but someone told me I couldn’t join because…?

  • Excellent post, iowa!

    I agree… players should be able to turn pro right out of HS.

    My only objection to it is that their young bodies really aren’t prepared to face the long schedule of the NBA (along with receiving poundings from bigger players).

    If I had my way, I’d limit how many games any of these players could play every year. It would help extend some of their careers in the league, and would definitely help the super young players. It could also help employ more players in the league. In fact, they could even extend seasons… but just limit the PT of each player, forcing a bigger bench. I think it would help the league, too, by employing more players and extending exposure to all of them. Many fans not only follow teams, but also follow players. If you look on all the Jayhawk boards you’ll see constant mention of past Jayhawk players and what they are doing in basketball beyond KU.

  • @iowajayhawk2005 This is a tough issue with lots of gray areas.

    I remember defending Danny Manning’s decision to leave college early for the money he could make in the pros. I knew the university would welcome him back after his pro career so he could finish his degree if he wanted too. And he could get injured and his future career would be in danger. So why defer the income for another year? Today I still think he made a good decision.

    I feel differently about today’s OAD players. The money issue is still valid but I don’t think most of these players have the physical and emotional maturity to succeed immediately and they would be better served by staying in college for two or three years.

    Would it be possible for the pro teams to sign players to an option and put some money aside in a trust (maybe)? Doesn’t major league baseball do something like this? Just askin’

  • Any player can turn pro right after high school or even before finishing high school; they just cannot play in the NBA. They can play in the Development League or any of the semi-pros leagues or they can go to Europe and play there.

    The NBA, much like any other employers, is within its rights to determine the qualification to play in the league. If you apply for any job, the employer is within its rights to require a degree, experience or whatever else he/she believes is needed to perform the job. The NBA requires a certain age and a minimum level of experience (1 year); remember that in our system, a job is not a right but a privilege you earn.

  • I remember defending Danny Manning’s decision to leave college early for the money he could make in the pros. I knew the university would welcome him back after his pro career so he could finish his degree if he wanted too. And he could get injured and his future career would be in danger. So why defer the income for another year? Today I still think he made a good decision.

    @Careful_you. Correct me if I am wrong but Danny Manning did not leave early, he played 4 years at KU.

  • You are rlght. Danny surprised a lot of people by coming back for his senior year.

  • I see every basketball player as an entrepreneur. They have a singularly focused goal from an early age - become the best they can be at what they do and make the most money possible. They make life changing decisions at a young age, develop a brand, and position themselves to meet the goals they set for themselves.

    The NBA going to a one year out of high school rule had nothing to do with protecting players and insuring their emotional and physical maturation - it was purely a direct effort to generate more hype and make teams more money. It was a nod to the NCAA and its popularity. It was a realization, in my opinion, that players like Carmelo Anthony, can create a brand and name for themselves in one year of college and help transform a franchise. I know multiple people who were Syracuse fans who, the second he was drafted, became huge Nuggets fans. You look at the impact Carmelo made as compared to a guy like Kobe. If Kobe had gone to college he would have been a household name. But it took a few years before Kobe became a superstar (and it wasn’t because of play).

    The NBA is self serving. They see the NCAA as the greatest minor league system in the world. It is purely used to develop players and gain exposure to create hype for previously unknown guys. I mean, look at KUsports. Every day we have an NBA update for a bunch of guys that no one else in the league besides KU grads care about. What great exposure!

    Let’s not forget as well that the NBA tried to ruin the NCAA with the d-league. Their reaction to players coming out of high school that weren’t quite ready for the league was to create their own minor league system to have these kids grow. They actively pushed for teams to draft high schoolers and put them in their developmental league. They realized the d-league didn’t provide 1/10th the hype of the NCAA and magically - the one and done rule appears!

    The OAD is a self serving NBA rule and it is best for these kids to position themselves in large programs, create national exposure, and prepare their brand for the NBA. I don’t think they should have to take this step if they don’t want to (although it has made people like Carmelo millions more so it’s not always a bad choice) and I definitely don’t feel they should have to stay more than one year for maturation’s sake. The NFL takes red flags all the time - even after 3 years. It’s up to the teams to take the risk.

    I subscribe to the Jay Bilas model - Players can be drafted at 18. They choose their college regardless and if an NBA decides to they can either take them at the beginning of the season (say a wiggins, randle, parker) or they can keep them in college for up to 4 years as long as they pay him. They cannot pull a player out mid year and have to make the decision at the end of the season what they’re going to do with the player. There are kinks to work out but let’s just pay these kids already.

  • @jayhawkfantoo Thanks for correcting my error. I probably thought he made a mistake in not going pro for all the reasons cited. That last season was a magic one, wasn’t it?

  • @iowajayhawk2005 Great post! PHOF in my eyes. You nailed it in every respect.

  • About 5 years ago, Kevin Pritchard did a long interview on 610 AM and one of the topics was the NBA one year wait rule. He explained a lot more eloquently than I could, and the gist of the rule was that the NBA was getting burned signing player that excelled in High School but did not pan out in the big league. The NBA needed a “laboratory” where to observe players in an environment closer to that of the NBA and College basketball was the ideal instrument.

    The NBA can now 'observe" potential talent for a year and make better decisions on who will likely excel at the next level by watching players play against McDonalds All-Americans rather that watching high school players play against kids that work at McDonalds. It is a purely self serving business decision that has nothing to do with the welfare of the potential players.

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