Sunday, October 26, 2003

The lure of the NBA

All college coaches have to deal with it. It is a reality of recruiting. How do you recruit and build a team when the best players that can push you over the top will not stay to actually do it? What Jim B. did at Syracuse last year (win it all) is an anomaly. What Paul Hewitt did with Chris Bosh is probably more like the norm (NIT). It takes time to build a program. But time is not there. You need a core of talented but NOT NBA-ready players. Then you need the serendipity of a blue-chipper (or 2) at the right time. Tech has the possibility of signing one of its best recruiting classes under Hewitt for next season. But is Randolph Morris signs with Tech, how long will he be here? Is he interested in accomplishing something at Tech, or is he interested in the school's ability to launch his pro-career? Will he look at the Salley's, Prices, Anderson's, Marbury's, Harprings, Bests, etc, etc? I don't blame any of the kids for having NBA dreams. The league has created the market for young talent, not the kids themselves.

Would an age restriction help the situation? It would certainly help the college game, but not dramatically in my opinion. We would have even more players declare earlier. For those who decide to go to college, it would buy college coaches maybe one extra year with a player. Could we dream about another year with Bosh? Sure, but in the end it is not a bargain for the kids.

Bottom line for me is that this is just a reality of the game now. It is a new challenge in the wrinkle of college ball for coaches. The top flight programs just cannot recruit the best any longer and develop them slowly over a 4 year period. You have to get them PT and figure out how to build chemistry with a new nucleous EVERY year. Seems to me it makes the picking of the winners in March even more difficult than before.