Monday, May 05, 2008

The Long Overdue College Basketball Post

Since Kansas shocked the college basketball world with its stunning comeback against Memphis, a few things have taken shape.

First, a number of talented ballers have entered early for the 2008 NBA Draft. At the bottom of the same page, there is a list of players who are returning to further their education [in college basketball].

Second, plenty of transfers will re-enter the hardcourt donning new colors. Players to watch this season include: Mike Mercer (South Florida from Georgia), Reginald Delk (Louisville from Mississippi State), Joe Trapani (Boston College from Vermont), Alex Legion (Illinois from Kentucky) and Tre'Von Willis (UNLV from Memphis).

Third, as for players who are leaving their schools this spring either for reason of a self-initiated transfer (see Ben Hansbrough) or a dismissal (see Indiana and Tennessee), there is no shortage of talent. I'll have my eye on Vernon Macklin, who entered Georgetown with notoriety, but did not mesh with JT3's system and was criticized for a lack of basketball IQ. He'll be suiting up for Billy D, who has been much the alchemist with raw big men.

Fourth, Bob Huggins signed an 11-year contract ... which means absolutely nothing beyond new money for Huggy Bear (800K to 1.5M per annum). Had he not signed the deal, I might have believed that he'd remain at WVU for the remainder of his career.

Fifth, staying in the coaching ranks, longtime Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins is now the head basketball coach at Stanford. While Dawkins has cited the similarities between his former and current institution as a major reason he left Duke, many including myself will wonder whether the color of Dawkins's skin has a part in being the successor to Coach K in Durham. For now, Stanford gets an excellent coach with name recognition. Can he recruit?

Sixth, how bad do all of the people feel who dogged Chris Lofton for a lackluster senior campaign? I, for one, feel about two feet tall after calling his play like I saw it. Why? Lofton played his entire senior season with testicular cancer and kept the secret from teammates. “It used to be that a bad game was the end of the road for me. When I went through my cancer, I realized basketball is fun but it’s not that big of a deal,” Lofton said.

Now, that is perspective.

1 comment:

Clement said...

Lofton's quote gives perspective.

If you feel two-feet tall, I'm microscopic after dogging him through the SEC-Tournament and NCAA Tournament.

I still don't know how they "hid" it from a dog-eat-dog media. Did anyone know? Was their a Woodward/Bernstein who knew better?

Nevertheless, Lofton has it right. It's just a game.

It's worthy of a post on its own; yet, I'll say it nevertheless: sports means much more to fans than athletes.

And I say fans loosely.