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pbriz
07-08-2008, 08:50 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3479195

ZagNative
07-09-2008, 07:14 AM
Storming the Floor (http://www.stormingthefloor.com/) has some pretty good stuff up about this story today:


It's official, Brandon Jennings is bound for Europe, regardless the score of his SATs
"Over the course of the last two months I have consulted a number of people in basketball before coming to this decision," Jennings said in a statement released through attorney Jeff Valle. "I would like to thank the University of Arizona for their interest and support through this process."Clearly, this post is what swayed Brandon's opinion (still rooting for Germany). (http://www.stormingthefloor.com/2008/07/as-jennings-waits-for-his-score-lets.html) But seriously, huge loss for Arizona, just as the Wildcats had finally appeared to right the ship after a disastrous 2008 season. Also, let's see how the NCAA and NBA react as Jennings will be the first to test that giant loophole in the one-and-done policy. More on this as it develops....And from the linked post in the blog:

Apparently, Brandon Jennings is having his SAT scores reviewed by the National College Board, audited by IRS and then held in confinement by the US Government, because cripes, this story is going on three weeks already. Jennings - the flat-top rocking Arizona signee with an ego best described as Mayoesque - has let just about everyone know a his desire to hop the pond to play a season in Europe if he doesn't qualify academically for Arizona, becoming the first high-profile player to test the NBA's one-and-done college policy. Jennings' SAT scores now will not be made available until July 11th, a full week after the first deadline.

So with another week or two before Jennings can hear his fate, why not help Brandon get his passport ready just in case he doesn't qualify? The STF suggested destinations.....

France - Not quite sure if a beret would fit over his flat top.

Spain - Why not? Spain is the Boston of Europe these days, and Jennings would most likely never have to get up before 1 p.m.

Lithuania - Looks like the kind of guy who might be down for some dye-tie warm-ups.

Italy - Appears to have fashion sense, would certainly be well fed, could end up the subject of a John Grisham novel.

Russia - Could make like a billion dollars in an oil/mob funded super league and then play for Russian national team

Greece - Who doesn't love to chain-smoke right after playing a competitive basketball game for 40 minutes?

Germany - Possibly the only place on Earth the flat-top is still in styleI wonder if this will start a trend, and, like Stormin', I too wonder what the NBA and NCAA will do about it. Will it be good or bad for the NBA and for college hoops?

Rubbadub
07-09-2008, 07:19 AM
Man, this is seriously going to screw up my prediction a while back that Arizona was going to have at least a decent year. At least they have Budinger back... :o

ZagManFan
07-09-2008, 08:42 AM
Jason Whitlock has responded and I tend to agree for the most part.

http://msn.foxsports.com/cbk/story/8327672?MSNHPHMA


A 19-year-old from Europe can join the NBA without anyone objecting. But a teenager from the states who hasn't spent a year masquerading as a college student and justifying CBS's billion-dollar NCAA basketball package is forbidden from joining the NBA.

BroncoZAG615
07-09-2008, 08:50 AM
European basketball has to be absolutely loving this.

What kid straight out of high school wouldn't want to go to Europe for a year and play basketball and get paid. Not to mention, being in Europe and traveling around.

Mr. Stern...you have a problem.

zagfan24
07-09-2008, 08:57 AM
Mr. Stern...you have a problem.

Exactly...I always thought they should have at least opened up the NBDL to high schoolers, even though those salaries pale in comparison to Europe. Whatever the case, Jennings is starting a trend that only Stern will be able to stop.

The majority of the league's best players right now came straight out of HS (KG, Lebron, Kobe, Howard, McGrady). If people want to risk flaming out and miss out on the college experience, that should be their decision.

Forcing kids to attend college that don't want do only creates problems...(see OJ Mayo). And if teams want to draft HSers, they know that some will be LeBron and some will be Kwame. Just like international players, its a risk you have to be willing to take.

zagster318
07-09-2008, 09:08 AM
Someone calling out NCAA hypocrisy is always fine by me. I hope Jennings does succeed, as it will set a precedent for others in the one and done crowd. Also, college basketball will benefit as well. Coaches will be able to form more cohesive units that will be around for two, three, or even four years. Perhaps, NCAA Division I basketball will return to what it once was, which would be a game played by actual "student-athletes."

Radbooks
07-09-2008, 09:13 AM
Gottlieb at ESPN had a column about Jennings last week. Here are some highlights that I thought were interesting. It's a premium story, but here's the link (http://insider.espn.go.com/ncb/insider/columns/story?columnist=gottlieb_doug&id=3470995) to the rest of it.


If Jennings thinks going overseas will be a year-long vacation in which he will dominate, play just twice a week and ready himself for an early call from David Stern at Madison Square Garden next June, the couple hundred grand in cash he will earn might need to make up for the revenue he'll lose by dropping in the draft if he is not overly impressive in Europe. On the other hand, if Jennings succeeds in Europe, he could emerge as a perfect combination -- the flair of the American game and the fundamental team game that is played outside our borders.

Six facts going against Jennings:

1. The most difficult position to make it as an American in European competition is playmaker, or point guard position, due to the number of quality "local" guards.

2. European coaches despise inexperienced players.

3. American players are expected to not only carry the team, but also to win and play quality defense, more so than their European counterparts.

4. Playmakers in Europe shoot a very high percentage and do not over-handle the ball.

5. While some Europeans contracts are guaranteed, many contracts are abruptly terminated at different points during the season due to poor play or performance.

6. Some European coaches want their point guards to be at least 6-5, if not bigger.

And those are just a few of the obstacles facing Jennings.

He also has no real sense of what it takes to win at a high level, as he often bails out on guarding the ball by going for steals. When scored upon, he always comes back up court and tries to go one-on-one for a bucket. Great moxie over here, not embraced over there.

I don't blame Jennings. He is just a product of playing for one of the most talented AAU programs (SoCal All-Stars) and high school powerhouses (Oak Hill) in the country. While both win games, the emphasis isn't on sets on offense or stops on defense.

Whereas young players are coddled here and pushed to learn in a trial by fire sort of way, most youngsters in Europe sit and earn their minutes and do their work in practice and in friendly games.

BroncoZAG615
07-09-2008, 09:15 AM
While I love seeing players like Beasley, Rose, Mayo etc in the college game, college basketball was fantastic before them.

When they passed the rule for one year in college, I thought it would be a good thing because it would increase the competition in college but to be honest, college basketball doesn't need players who don't want them.

The logical option is doing what baseball does where you give kids an option to come out of high school but once they are in college, they stay for a few years.

They have to go back to giving these kids an option. If they go the football route and make kids stay in college for a few years, many of the best players will jet to Europe for a year.

Admit the mistake, and correct it before it gets worse. But i'm sure with Stern it will take at least 4 years for him to realize the problem.

BobZag
07-09-2008, 09:22 AM
Arizona's lineup--

PG - Nic Wise
SG - Zane Johnson?
SF - Chase Budinger
PF - Jordan Hill
C - Jeff Whithey

It will still be a very good game.

dim4sum
07-09-2008, 09:46 AM
The Pac 10 was decimated by the NBA lottery. The only fair-to-middling team returning everyone is the UW. But Brockman will have to hit a higher percentage of his putbacks (basically the only shot in his repertoire), if the team is to create much of a stir. Considering the range, he should be hitting 80 percent of his shots, but he's been far from that.

CDC84
07-09-2008, 10:04 AM
The market for Jennings in Europe might not be as big as it might seem:

http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=428024

ZagNative
07-09-2008, 10:11 AM
That's a great DeCourcy column CDC84 linked.

BobZag
07-09-2008, 10:24 AM
Every two-bit wannabe is going to be giving him their best shots, literally. Jealousy changes people.

ZagNative
07-09-2008, 10:46 AM
Interesting comment about Jennings and Lute/Arizona from Goodman's blog today (http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/goodmanonfox), along with a mention of the Zags:

RANDOM NOTES: I’ve gone through a bunch of preseason tournaments and other key matchups and I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that Gonzaga will Indiana and Notre Dame will play Ohio State in the Hall of Fame doubleheader. It will be the first basketball game at Lucas Oil Field. BEST Collegiate (formerly Game Seven) also has another doubleheader in Phoenix finalized. The 'Zags will face Arizona and Arizona State will play UAB … The hardest thing for Lute Olson today is knowing he had a choice to take Brandon Jennings or Larry Drew. Olson, at the suggestion of former assistant Josh Pastner, opted to go with Jennings – who is expected to play overseas. Drew will be a freshman at North Carolina and won’t get a lot of run this year with the return of Ty Lawson and Bobby Frasor.
Also on Goodman today (http://msn.foxsports.com/cbk/story/8328282/Olson:-One-and-done-rule-to-blame-for-Jennings):
Olson: One-and-done rule to blame for Jennings
....

Olson said he won't be surprised at all if Jennings' decision sparks more interest from other players in the future. Jennings is the first high-profile high school player to go the overseas route instead of playing college basketball.

Jennings could have company soon if USC signee Demar DeRozan, regarded as the player in the incoming freshman class with the most NBA potential, doesn't qualify academically. However, DeRozan told FOXSports.com that he hasn't given the option of playing overseas much thought because of his strong desire to play college basketball.

"Something needs to be done because it's going to open up the possibility of more kids going to Europe," Olson said. "I know the NBA wants it changed because it's hurting their game, also. They have too many inexperienced players."

Olson also said his outlook with regards to recruiting some of the elite players will change in the wake of the Jennings situation.

"We're going to change our position and if we think someone we're recruiting has that kind of thought about going to Europe, we're going to stop trying to recruit those type of guys."
A kid with borderline or sub-par grades who hasn't gotten a good PSAT score (assuming they still do the PSAT test my kids did in their junior years) would be a tip off. But would that have ruled out Jeremy, who, as I recall, didn't get an acceptable ACT score until shortly before arriving at Gonzaga? And, unless I'm mistaken, he's done well enough to stay academically eligible ever since he's been here. Jeremy, though, wouldn't have been one-and-done anyway. He needed college play to develop.

CDC84
07-09-2008, 03:53 PM
http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=432745

Even better article from Decourcy from his blog today. Includes Calipari quotes about it being a risky idea at best.

75Zag
07-09-2008, 04:13 PM
Seems like Nike or equivalent should open some sort of one year program where a half-dozen of these super elite kids who have no college potential could come to Beaverton, Oregon and get paid a few hundred grand to practice their basketball skills and kill time for a year while waiting to enter the NBA. Nike could lock up some early endorsements and the kids could avoid wasting time in Europe.

PS - Phil Knight if you are reading this and want to steal my idea, please hire me as your creative director.

CDC84
07-09-2008, 10:47 PM
I think the people who feel this move by Jennings is going to be revolutionary and set off a pattern of elite HS kids going to Europe should realize that of all the elite HS kids who have emerged in the post-age limit era, he's the first one who has failed to qualify, or who has clearly felt that he won't.

Jennings won't be the last elite HS kid with academic issues, but if the percentages play out like they have so far, guys like him are going to be a rare exception. The elite players are not as academically challenged as many cynics think. That is the heart of the issue here. If Jennings had made the grade, he would be playing for Zona this season.

MedZag
07-10-2008, 12:36 AM
But would that have ruled out Jeremy, who, as I recall, didn't get an acceptable ACT score until shortly before arriving at Gonzaga? And, unless I'm mistaken, he's done well enough to stay academically eligible ever since he's been here. Jeremy, though, wouldn't have been one-and-done anyway. He needed college play to develop.

If anything, P's grades have only gone up since arriving at GU. He had a rough semester or two in the beginning, but the guy is pulling a 3.0+ these days.

Interestingly, Jeremy is a great example of the potential for college basketball to provide so much more beyond the NBA. He was a guy who had difficulty learning the joys of education from where he was from (understandable if you know south side chicago), was razor close to being academically ineligible for D1 ball, looking at a future of ju-co if anything, and instead he will be earning a degree from a highly regarded institution, has the potential to be drafted in the first round of the NBA draft, has become a great ambassador for the university and great role model to young kids, and if I may rarely interject my own personal experience, has really learned the skills for and the satisfaction from academic success.

zagfan24
07-10-2008, 08:06 AM
I think the people who feel this move by Jennings is going to be revolutionary and set off a pattern of elite HS kids going to Europe should realize that of all the elite HS kids who have emerged in the post-age limit era, he's the first one who has failed to qualify, or who has clearly felt that he won't.

Jennings won't be the last elite HS kid with academic issues, but if the percentages play out like they have so far, guys like him are going to be a rare exception. The elite players are not as academically challenged as many cynics think. That is the heart of the issue here. If Jennings had made the grade, he would be playing for Zona this season.

I agree that most elite players are not academically challenged...but I think the issue is one of money, not academics.

Jennings was essentially forced into this decision by his poor SAT scores -- but the decision he made, coupled with the NBA's new draft rule -- means that high schoolers that want to make money right away might take this option instead. I doubt that many elite players will do so, but never underestimate the power of big money, especially when it's offered to a 17 or 18 year old.

CDC84
07-10-2008, 10:18 AM
Jennings was essentially forced into this decision by his poor SAT scores -- but the decision he made, coupled with the NBA's new draft rule -- means that high schoolers that want to make money right away might take this option instead. I doubt that many elite players will do so, but never underestimate the power of big money, especially when it's offered to a 17 or 18 year old.

You should look over the two articles I linked in this thread. The "power of big money" is that exact reason why the overwhelming majority of elite HS kids won't be following the lead of Jennings.

The majority of basketball fans in this country have never seen Jennings play in a single organized game. And now they won't until after he gets drafted by the NBA. The reason why the elite kids won't follow his path is because it is a financially unsound move, and no matter how immature a 17 year old can be, the proof that it is unsound is just too overwhelming. There is no way that a guy like Kevin Durant would've commanded the endorsement dollars he did coming out of Texas if he had chosen to do what Jennings has done. College basketball has made Durant and others like him into household names throughout the larger basketball community. It elevated their market value to enormous levels. Jennings may get paid for playing basketball overseas next season, but he is not going to come close to getting the amount of bread he would've if he had just played one season at the University of Arizona and become a star in front of millions of American TV viewers.

It's going to be many years until he earns back the money he will be losing by going this route. And then he has to bank on performing at a high level in the NBA to even have a chance at that money. Honestly, I think most of the elite HS kids are going to want to allow college basketball to make them into stars first so that they can out earn Jennings 5 to 1 or more before they even play in a NBA game. The sneaker companies and businesses that are now competing for the services of guys like Rose and Beasley just aren't going to care about Jennings....no one has seen him really do anything of substance.

azzagfan
07-10-2008, 08:19 PM
After living in Europe for 5 of the last 12 years and watching Belgian and French 1st and Second Leagues, I'd have to agree and disagree on some of these points. Will he play a bunch and get paid a bunch? I think that depends on the league he wants to play in. Let's remember Zach Gourde played in the French 3rd League although I doubt he has become rich doing so. The French, Spanish, and Italian leagues are very competitive at the top levels. The money is good, but the minutes would likely be few for Jennings (and there may be limited interest) as he would be competing against seasoned former college players for a spot on the roster due to limits on foreign players (some American players realize this and become citizens to not count against their team).

As for the European clubs investing in American players, rarely do they invest in American players. They typically bring in the best American players for a year or two. How long was JP with his first team? How long has Casey stayed with teams? When I was in Bourg-en-Bresse, France where there was a French 2nd Division team at the time, I saw 3 Americans come and go in one season. This is primarily due to the facts of the European game, you have to win to stay at the top division. If the Clippers played in a European league in the 90s, they would have been relegated right out of any division for finishing last. The bottom 2 teams drop divisions after the end of a season and the top 2 teams in a division are promoted. There is a big money difference between leagues, so owners don't want to lose and finish last.

Zagpower
07-11-2008, 07:44 AM
The endorsement companies will find the guys that will sell their products no matter where they come from. Here's a few guys that didn't need college to get endorsement deals: LeBron, Kobe, Dwight Howard, Yao Ming, Kevin Garnett. It's all about talent and charisma.

Arizona hasn't seen many of their players go on to become big product endorsers. The one exception is Arenas and he didn't become popular until well after his Arizona years.

I hope Jennings goes to Europe. Let's see if it works out or not. I can think of many worse things than spending a year in a foreign country at that age. As for his draft position, many of the same media guys that question this are the same guys that shake their heads in disbelief every year when little known foreign players are routinely taken over four year college guys.