2011 NBA Draft Results Damning for College Basketball

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.


Categories: college basketball, NBA, sports story

3 replies

  1. Scott – I understand but can’t agree with this.

    There’s no question that imposing an age limit for no other reason than to help the college game is unconstitutional. A man has a right to make a living and an arbitrary age limit prevents this. Although they are the exception, enough players have made the leap from high school to the pros to demonstrate that it’s a viable option.

    Now, I agree that most players would benefit from learning their craft at the college level. We’ll never have another Kareem with his skyhook and stupifying array of offensive skills. If you’re 7 feet and can run the court without tripping over your feet, someone will draft you high. That’s why most big men today are a waste of space.

    I also agree that most people would benefit from eating a healthy diet and not going to pizza hut and taco bell for lunch everyday. All I’m saying is that you can’t make them. If a man can choose to fight in a war at 18, then certainly he can try out for a professional sports team.

    Of course, if NBA teams feel these players aren’t ready, they don’t have to draft them. Looks like they are finally sending these “not ready for prime time” players a message. “If you won’t stay in school and learn the game, we’ll build our teams through trades and foreign players and take a flyer on you in the 2nd round where the money isn’t guaranteed.”

    A couple of years of this could persuade some players (and their agents, homies and assorted sycophants) that accepting a full scholarship at a prestigious university with the opportunity to earn a degree and improve one’s game ain’t such a bad deal.

    • JAG,

      I feel you, but the pro game is taking a hit in terms of quality of play, and it’s because a lot of these New Jacks who are extremely raw are getting into the league. I mean, the Kevin Durants, Derrick Rosess and John Walls of the world are the exceptions to the rule.

      I just think that them staying in school for at least two years would give these young cats time to improve their games and learn how to actually play more of a team game. Maybe I am old-fashioned like that, but the eyes don’t lie my man…

  2. I completely agree with you, boss. Taking advantage of the college experience would help these young men, both on the court in a (possible) career and off the court for the rest of their lives.

    I’m just making two simple points

    1. The NBA has no right to ban an 18 year old high school graduate from trying to make the leap. Stupid decision or not, he has the right to attempt to make a living, especially if he’s been assured that he’s a lottery pick.

    2. Don’t blame the kids, blame the owners and GM’s. Is it Kwame Brown’s fault that he was taken 1st overall? He would have been a fool to turn down a payday that sets him up for years, if not for life. Do you think Greg Oden regrets his decision? What if these injuries had occured at Ohio State instead of after he signed his guaranteed pro contract?

    If someone’s not ready, don’t draft him high. College will look far more attractive when kids get the message that they’ll be second rounders (with no guaranteed contract).


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: