Monday, July 02, 2007

Ahhhhhh....... The Beach...........

Sand between the toes................ hot sun................... salty waves.................. no email.... our family's annual trek to Hilton Head. I love this time of year. Of course it has been raining all day today, but who cares..................

So I finally got the wireless connection working here and thought I'd post a few things.

Ok, so we all know that Thaddeus Young was drafted #12 by the Sixers and Javaris Crittenton was drafted #19 by the Lakers. A set of 1st round draft picks for the Jackets................. like ships passing through the night. We will have to enjoy watching them reach their potential at the professional level.

You know what, I got a lot of flak for one of my earlier posts, where many of you felt I was a bit condescending in my defense of guys going pro early. You know what - oh well. The only reason I get defensive is when I see comments by people saying "good riddance" or "they were never Tech men". It's amazing how people wash their hands of these kids as soon they are no longer wearing the uni................ and man, heaven for bid they short change fans by not staying longer than a year. If I'm a kid, these comments reinforce one thing - fans care about their school, and only care about the players to the level that they contribute to the school. All that junk they read when they are being recruited in high school "Javaris, Tech wants you", "Thaddeus, we love you".......... please.

Ok, sorry for the soapbox yet again. Here's the bottom-line. I hate the system. You hate the system. It's not the players that we should have the problem with. It's the system. The NBA one year rule benefits one group - the NBA. These kids want to play NBA ball. Their dream is not to play Georgia Tech basketball. Tech is a means to an end. In fact, as my friend Bryan put it -

There's no point in playing college hoops if you want to be a pro. There's no reason - none - for a guy to play coollege hoops one second more than they have to. They should drop out of school and train full time the minute their teams season is done. Staying in school won't help anybody's draft stock any more It can only hurt it.

Well, here's what I would say. If you are ranked as one of the top....... say......... 20 players coming out of high school............ AND you have size for your position................... and you are athletic.................. then going to college isn't going to help you much. The risk that you hurt your stock is greater than the possibility you improve it.

So, the REAL question is - how on earth can Paul Hewitt build more successful programs at Georgia Tech considering the reality of the system now? Frankly, he hasn't quite figured it out yet. One great run to the national championship without any one-and-done guys, but not much else to speak of before or after that. It ain't easy. Here's what Coach Hewitt had to say:

“It’s bittersweet, no doubt,” Hewitt says. “But when I look back at it, there’s two more millionaires that we’re producing.”
Cha-ching for them. Frustration and unsettled-ness for the rest of us.

From reading some of the reactions by Sixer and Laker fans, it was apparent that they jusr were not familiar with these guys. Sixer fans were actually pretty upset at the TY pick - check it out............

"[Fans] are upset because it's a name people weren't looking for. Nobody knows this guy," said Drew Hemmert, a Bucks County, Pa., resident. "They hear that name and haul out of here because it's not a sexy name."
Thaddeus showed he is willing to set some modest goals while in Philly:

"I'm a lottery pick and that's over with," he said. "Now I've got to come in and work hard, earn every minute I get and hopefully I'll become a franchise player or a Hall of Fame player."

Now, Sixer's VP Tony DiLeo wasn't exactly glowing about Thad's time at Tech:

“He showed a lot in high school,” Sixers’ senior vice president Tony DiLeo said. “He didn’t show as much his freshman year at Georgia Tech. He came in here and showed us some things that we thought he would do and he could do those things. You’re not going to find a better, complete package as far as a person, a player who wants to become great."
Some similar reaction for Javaris in LA, where the Lakers took PG Jordan Farmer in last year's draft. Fans just weren't familiar enough with JC on the west coast.

By the way - check out some interesting graphs / breakdowns of the draft by position, by age, and a bunch of other breakdowns. Interesting.......