Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hewitt Talks One-and-Dones in USA Today

Coach Hewitt and Thaddeus Young were quoted in a recent USA Today article about NBA one-and-done recruits.

"If the allegations are true with O.J. Mayo, it's unfortunate," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt says. "But do not use that brush to paint everyone who has taken that route."

Georgia Tech lost two freshmen —Thaddeus Young and Javaris Crittenton— to last season's NBA draft. Their former coach is OK with that.

"The rule benefits the NBA and the young man more than college basketball," Hewitt says, but its impact on colleges "is negligible."

Young was in the first class affected by the NBA rule. Had it not been in place, "I probably would have done what all the other guys did and made the jump," Young says.

He's glad he didn't. "I would have been picking splinters out of my butt" in the NBA without the preparation he had at Georgia Tech. "I probably wouldn't have been a major contributor as I am now." Here's what he did for the Philadelphia 76ers: 21 minutes, 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in the regular season; 26.7 minutes, 10.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in the playoffs.

Young believes Brand is right that the rule makes high school players take academics more seriously. "It makes a lot of guys keep their grades up," he says.

Here's my take:

1. Sure, the rule makes a lot of guys keep their grades up. However, it doesn't make a lot of guys take their school seriously. Keeping grades up is just a means to an end - getting to the draft. Being serious about school and an education is a whole different matter. It's a survival game in the current setup.

2. Having said that, there are good kids who are smart and will focus on their education, but still want the NBA and will take it - a la Thaddeus Young. A la Chris Bosh.

3. The only real "benefit" for colleges (in my opinion) would be a 3-year requirement, much like college baseball. The current rule hurts the best of the best players, but it also protects those starry eyed kids who have no business going league, but whom some stupid NBA team will take a chance on. Getting all kids into college exposes talent against better talent and protects bling-obsessed knucklehead players from bling-possessing knucklehead GM's.

4. A 3-year rule ain't going to happen, and neither is a 2-year rule..... and the NCAA really has no say in the matter. They will just live with what happens.

5. Paul Hewitt won't stop recruiting guys who might leave after 1 season. He has no choice really.