There was something peculiar about the 2011 NBA Draft. Four of the first seven players drafted were international players.
What does this all mean?
Was it because of the “Dirk” effect? Did Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA Finals put the end of the “soft European” talk?
Was it an indictment of the state of college basketball?
I think it’s more of the latter.
These days college basketball players do not stick around long enough to improve their games. Guys are only in college for one year, the latter half of it not going to class.
Since these young men have not fully developed their skills, there are a lot of raw talent leaving the college ranks. Aside from the Derrick Roses, Kevin Durants and John Walls, the majority of these “1 and dones” have not amounted to much in the NBA.
I have long said that if the NBA continues to impose an age limit, it should make those kids stay two years. That should allow the kids enough time to improve their skills, which in turn would improve the quality of the college game.
(By the way, if you don’t think the college game is suffering, check out this past year’s national championship game between UConn and Butler)
A lot of NBA teams who consistently pick near the top of the draft are tired of waiting on these kids to realize their potentials. Those same teams are pulling a “San Antonio Spurs” if you will by tapping into the foreign market.
Bottom line: if the NBA wants to improve the play of college basketball players, it needs to raise the age limit to 20 years old. Otherwise, look for the foreign players to overtake the American college players soon rather than later.